SACD, founded as Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques (English: Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers) on 7 March 1829, is a French collecting society, undertaking collective rights management for authors.. The Society manages, promotes and protects the performance rights of theatrical, audivisual or photographic works for their creators by collecting royalties and authorising performances.
It can trace its origins to the French playwright Beaumarchais who brought together a group of writers on 3 July 1777 to form a "Society of Dramatic Authors" (French: société des auteurs dramatiques).
At the time, the all-powerful members of the Comédie Française enjoyed, and abused, a monopolistic situation whereby every author of a play written in verse was obligated to give them first refusal. And, even if accepted, the author received a pittance, in no way reflecting the success of a work such as The Barber of Seville.
On 13 January 1791, the French Assembly officially recognised the concept of author's rights (French: droit d’auteur) in a law later ratified on 19 January 1791 by Louis XVI. To quote the legislation: "the most sacred, the most unassailable and the most personal of possessions is the fruit of a writer’s thought".
Beaumarchais brought together twenty-two authors to form the first "Bureau of Dramatic Law" in 1791. Another bureau was founded in 1798, and the two were brought together on 7 March 1829 to form the Society.
In 2006 the Society represented about 44,000 members in the performing arts and audiovisual sectors. The entire SACD repertoire currently comprises about 500,000 works, from the performing arts and the audiovisual sector.
The SACD lobbies in favor of governmental action meant to discourage unauthorized use of copyrighted works over the Internet (DADVSI, HADOPI) and against proposals to establish a "global license", authorizing French Internet users to copy copyrighted works in exchange for a flat fee on the Internet subscription.
In 2009, the SACD hosted a petition in favor of Roman Polanski, following his arrest.
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