Collective management entities in El Salvador

By: Suzanne de Tablas

Collective Management Societies represent an effective tool for protecting authors and other holders of intellectual property rights.

Through Collective Management, authors seek to receive economic compensation for the use and enjoyment of their works.

The first Collective Management Society was created in France in 1850.

Collective management represents an option within the copyright system whereby rights holders allow their rights to be administered through an entity called a “collective management” organization.

What is a Collective Management Society? It is the grouping of authors or holders of copyright or related rights that forms a separate entity from its own members and is created with the main purpose of collectively administering the copyright or related rights of its associates. In most countries, collective management societies require special recognition and authorization from the State through their competent national office. (CERLAC. Regional Center for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean).

The author of a literary, artistic, or scientific work has an exclusive property right over it, known as copyright. Copyright encompasses abstract, intellectual, and moral faculties, which constitute moral rights, as well as economic faculties, which constitute pecuniary rights, that is, the ability to derive economic benefits from the use of the works.

Based on the foregoing, it is essential:

a) To establish a legal balance that protects authors through effective mechanisms that ensure proper management of their rights.

b) Collective management societies must fulfill all obligations related to their own purpose.

c) Collective management societies must guarantee the respect and recognition of pecuniary rights through the payment of royalties.

El Salvador has special laws that guarantee the establishment of Collective Management Entities, and the Intellectual Property Registry of El Salvador plays a very important role, highlighting the following:

“Collective Management Entities may be created to defend the pecuniary rights recognized in this law, their partners or represented parties, or the affiliates to foreign entities of the same nature; The legal personality of Collective Management Entities is recognized through the registration of the Public Deed before the Intellectual Property Registry. For registration, the appointment of their administrative bodies, internal regulations, as well as collection and distribution rules, must be submitted. Collective management entities are obliged to present their maximum tariffs for registration and authorization with the Intellectual Property Registry, as well as reciprocal representation agreements and/or contracts; these instruments must be made available to the public through any digital means and may be published in a nationally circulated medium once every three years or when a variation is authorized.

Among the obligations established by the Intellectual Property Law for Collective Management Entities are:

Ensure compliance with the obligations of the collective management entity to which they belong; Civilly and criminally respond for acts performed by them during their administration to the detriment of the collective management entity to which they belong or the holders of pecuniary rights of authors or related rights they represent; Annually deliver financial reports with corresponding settlements to representatives of holders of pecuniary rights of authors or related rights and partners of the entities, regarding the amounts received as a result of collection performed in each fiscal year; Provide the Intellectual Property Registry and other competent authorities that require it, in compliance with what is established in this law, with the information and documentation required from the collective management entity. Legal disputes that arise concerning authors’ rights and related rights between collective management societies and users must be submitted to a “Mediation” procedure, which will be processed before the Intellectual Property Registry prior to the initiation of corresponding judicial actions. The submission of the dispute to the Director of Intellectual Property will incur payment of fees, which will be settled between the parties involved in the mediation process.”

In conclusion, there are challenges and obstacles:

a) The individual management of an author to protect their rights can be limited; therefore, collective management must generate trust and legal security.

b) Collective Management Societies represent a good option when copyright holders, related rights holders, lose control over the collection and distribution of royalty payments when works are communicated in various countries on a massive, simultaneous basis, and through different mediums.

For more information, you can contact our Intellectual Property team in El Salvador at