SKAP - The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers -
- Looks after the members' artistic interests and matters concerning copyright
- Distributes subsidies, scholarships and prizes
- Promotes Swedish popular music
SKAP organises professionally active music authors (composers, lyricists and arrangers) covering all musical genres, except classical music.
SKAP was founded in 1926. SKAP has 950 members.
SKAP is one of three associations which each have two seats on the Board of the Swedish Collecting Society, Stim, together with fst (the association of contemporary classical composers) and the Swedish Music Publishers’ Association, SMFF.
SKAP is also represented on the board of the Nordic Copyright Bureau (ncb) which licenses mechanical and Internet rights in the 8 Nordic and Baltic countries.
SKAP is funded partly via so-called “cultural deductions” by Stim, and partly via SKAP’s own funds as well as some income from copying fees in schools, which can be used collectively.
SKAP’s most important task is related to monitoring and supporting Stim. SKAP’s priority here is to ensure that the activities of Stim are efficient, transparent and non-discriminatory. Stim has traditionally applied a number of distribution rules that have involved privileges for certain composers and styles of music, at the expense of others. In January 2006 Stim reformed this system, with the aim of separating cultural support from the financial activities involved in collecting revenues and distributing these as efficiently and correctly as possible to those whose works have generated these incomes. This reform process is still under way.
Other important activities include the following:
- Negotiating standard music publishing contracts with the Swedish music publishers association. A new standard contract for single works was agreed on in 2005. The contract can be downloaded here →. This allows, among other conditions, for contracts to be shorter than “life of copyright”, includes terms which allow the return of the rights to the composers if there is a lack of publisher activity, and requires all foreign incomes to be calculated “at source”.
- Fighting the growing emergence of coercion. This action is being closely coordinated with our colleagues in other composers’ associations in Europe.
- Fighting the ever-growing concentration of ownership in the music industry. SKAP has actively lobbied in Brussels against various mega mergers (e.g. Time Warner- EMI, 2000, Sony-BMG records, 2005 and more recently the proposed merger of the publishing divisions of Universal BMG).
- Supporting network building amongst composers, primarily in Europe. SKAP is currently chairman of APCOE, the Alliance of Popular Composer Organisations in Europe, which represents all european popular music writers. SKAP and Alfons Karabuda is also the executive chairman of ECSA, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, which is the umbrella organisation for all european composers, regardless of genre. It is made up of three separate pillars. The European Composers Forum (ECF) represents classical music writers, the Federation of Film and Audio-visual Composers of Europe (FFACE) represents audio-visual music writers and the Alliance of Popular Composer Organisations in Europe (APCOE) represents popular music writers.
- Negotiating with state and other public bodies involved in cultural policy in Sweden. SKAP also monitors output of music in media channels, with the aim of observing changes in available range of choice (cultural diversity).
- Distributing stipends financed partly by income for the works of deceased members who have donated future incomes to such purposes, and partly by grants from Stim.
- Engaging in diverse activities aimed at creating awareness of the role of the composer, and the significance of copyright as a means of stimulating creativity.
SKAP is run by an elected Board of 9 members. Membership can be granted to authors who have been affiliated to Sitm for at least three years or to persons whom the Council considers particularly eligible for membership in the Society.