Skap was founded in 1926 and is a membership association for music creators in Sweden with approximately 1,600 professional members – mostly active music creators and composers across all genres. The association’s purpose is to strengthen copyright and thereby improve music creators’ income opportunities as well as their artistic freedom of expression. The association, along with FST and Musikförläggarna, is one of the three associations that each have two permanent seats on the Board of STIM, to represent rights holders. Skap’s work can be divided into four main areas:
Both nationally and internationally, there is a lot of work that we as creators need to do to highlight the importance of creators to the music industry’s ecosystem. To us, it might seem obvious that music creators should be the people reaping the fruits of the revenue that music generates for everyone in the value chain, but it’s still difficult to get the industry to agree with this in practice. To improve conditions and cash flow, we work hard to ensure that decision-makers at all levels take copyright into account and understand that it needs to be modernised so that, above all, digital services can be persuaded to do the right thing. It’s an uphill battle, not least because our counterparts are often the world’s richest and most powerful multinational companies. One important success in recent years for us as music creators has been driving the so-called Copyright Directive within the EU, which, when it gains legal force in the member states, will affect the rights of music creators for the better and force the digital giants to give better compensation and greater transparency.
The Collective Management of Copyright Act came into force on 1st January 2017. The collective management simplifies licensing and stimulates musical diversity through its way of managing the money generated by copyrighted works, which is then distributed among creators. With a large, broad and high quality repertoire, copyright societies can simplify things for their customers with one licence for all music and thus contribute towards higher pricing for their associates through stronger bargaining power when tariffs are set.
Education and Training
Over the years, education of every kind has taken place thanks to Skap, both giving our members opportunities to develop further in their careers in various ways and, through external assignments, educating people on copyright and other industry knowledge. For instance, the initiative Din Musikbusiness (Your Music Business) is aimed at young music creators from socially and economically disadvantaged areas. As Skap members are experienced music creators and usually already established in the industry, our internal training courses are about production and sound technology, new technologies, contract law and different ways to find inspiration. Our members are already professionals when it comes to writing songs – but Skap’s training courses can help get these songs written, and give them more reach, more often and more easily – as well as protecting and managing them as well as possible once they’re released!
Scholarships & awards
Every year, the association distributes fairly large resources to deserving music creators in all genres, both for current achievements and for their life’s work. These are always mentioned in national media and are awarded at one of Skap’s membership events, where colleagues from all over the country get together.
Collaborations in Sweden and around the world
The ’Swedish music miracle’ of course requires a lot of presence and activity, both nationally and internationally. In Sweden, the association works with other organisations in a number of networks such as KLYS and Musiksverige, and in a global network of creators and music makers through the Brussles-based European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, ECSA, and the UNESCO-founded International Music Council, IMC. Skap’s Chairman of the Board, Alfons Karabuda, is also the Chairman of Musiksverige, ECSA and IMC, thereby creating excellent conditions for the association to reach out to the whole world – and to let the whole world reach Swedish music creators!