Resources > Russian Authors’ Society
27 Aug 2013

Russian Authors’ Society

Russian Authors’ Society (RAO) is a non-governmental society created by authors for copyright and intellectual property rights protection. The principal objective of RAO is managing Authors’ rights on a collective basis in those cases where their practical implementation in an individual order is complicated. This is the case for activities such as public performance, broadcasting and cable retransmission. Its main functions are collection, distribution and payment of authors’ remuneration for different kinds of use of musical works, but it also offers a wide range of other services:

  • issuance of licenses for public performance, broadcasting and cable retransmission, mechanical reproduction and representation of visual arts

  • assistance in assignment to the third parties of the rights for use of works of science, literature and art on an individual basis

  • representation of legal interests both in Russian and foreign public authorities and organizations pursuant to reciprocal representation contracts with foreign partners

  • legal assistance

  • national culture support, for example through participation in international music festivals


RAO administers property rights of authors and other right owners basing on relevant membership contracts and by virtue of state accreditation. Today RAO has over 26,000 membership contracts. As for its international role, at the moment RAO has 182 reciprocal representation contracts with 117 societies of 68 countries. As a result, RAO represents interests of nearly all Russian authors and more than 2 million of foreign right owners. RAO is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) since 1993.

RAO has a wide regional structure which includes 11 regional offices and over 200 inspectors in different regions of Russia. The internal structure of RAO consists of:

  • a Board of Directors (its chairman is the general director of the organisation)

  • an Authors’ Council (which is in charge of adopting the annual budget and establishing the procedure and scheduling the distribution and payment of author’s remuneration)

  • an Auditing Committee (which conducts a scheduled audit of the society’s financial and economic activities at least once per year)

  • an International Relations Department


RAO is the largest organization among Russian collective management of copyright and intellectual property rights societies in terms of authors’ remuneration. Over the last four years remuneration fees almost doubled. Conscious of its social role, RAO is involved in social projects, and it supports national culture, providing all possible assistance in the organization of several international music festivals. In addition to this, the society has given support to orphanages and has aided old well-known composers. It has also participated in educational projects for young talented people and students.

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