The legal framework
AGICOA is not based in the European Union, yet we comply voluntarily with Directive 2014/26/EU on the collective management of copyright and related rights (1). This directive imposes e.g. transparency requirements for collective management organizations (CMOs) at all levels and at all steps of the process (membership, income, investments and payments).
We have also chosen to have our annual financial statements and accounts fully audited, even though we are not required to do so by Swiss law (Article 727 of the Swiss Code of Obligations) (2) .
Why does AGICOA comply voluntarily with this framework?
At AGICOA, we are committed to being as transparent as possible with our members and declarants, as well as with platform operators and all parties with which we interact more generally. Each year, we therefore voluntarily commission an independent auditor, appointed by the General Assembly, to verify and certify all our accounting information.
Our annual report details our organization’s operational budget and covers the fiduciary funds managed by AGICOA and AGICOA Alliance members (3). It also includes a report by the independent auditor on the summary financial statement.
For more information, check out AGICOA’s annual reports here.
Moreover, like all reputable CMOs, we wish to emphasize that every decision we make serves the interests of the rightsholders whose funds we manage. In the interest of maintaining a relationship of mutual trust, we therefore publish an annual transparency report alongside our annual report.
You can read AGICOA’s latest annual transparency report here.
Audit of our internal controls
On top of this, our internal control procedures are audited every two years against the stringent ISAE 3000 standard (4). In this case, the independent auditor verifies that we have the necessary policies and regulations in place on matters ranging from contracting to identification and distribution. The auditor also ensures that our processes in these areas are fit for purpose and that we apply them properly.
(1) : Directive 2014/26/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32014L0026.
(2) Federal Act on the Amendment of the Swiss Civil Code (Part Five: The Code of Obligations) of 30 March 1911 (Status as of 9 February 2023): https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/27/317_321_377/en#art_727.
(3) Funds held by AGICOA Alliance members that are governed and fully controlled by them pursuant to their by-laws and distribution rules are not considered by AGICOA’s auditors and are excluded from AGICOA’s audit reports.
(4) International Standard on Assurance Engagements 3000: Assurance Engagements other than Audits or Reviews of Historical Financial Information.