About us

IAO is the umbrella association for national organisations representing the rights and interests of featured artists in the music industry.

Our principal interests are transparency, the protection of intellectual property and a fair reflection of the value an artist’s work generates.

IAO is a nonprofit organisation based in Paris that was officially founded in 2015 and consist of founder-members FAC (UK), La GAM (France), CoArtis (Spain), GramArt (Norway) and FACIR (Belgium), with the other members Dansk Artist Forbund (Denmark), Musikerförbundet (Sweden), Muusikkojen liitto (Finland), CAFM (Croatia) and De Muzielgilde (Belgium). The organisation is in the process of expanding its membership to welcome artist organisations from more countries across Europe and beyond.

What do we do?

IAO strive for a fair, balanced and developing global music sector, respecting national and regional diversity, providing for a richer and growing creative community by promoting diversity of culture between the genres. We promote artist representations in any rights organisation or entity making decisions concerning artists’ rights and revenues, and encourage authorities to always include genuine representation of artists in any working groups, committees or similar bodies. We aim to foster innovation and push the uptake of new and exciting services and allow opportunities for communication and creativity. We are in favour of a modernised legislative framework for the music sector to rebalance the market and empower the artists for the digital age.

IAO has especially identified the following issues of concern (in no particular order):

1. Fair remuneration throughout the value chain
We need fair pay for all use of artist’s material, regardless of context.

2. End the value gaps
We need to address the value gaps, which occur for example when big platforms claim that responsibility for uploaded material lies with the user, or when producers negotiate favourable deals at the expense of artist’s royalties.

3. Fair distribution models
We want a system where money is distributed per song users choose.

4. Efficient, correct, comprehensive and modernised accounting Immediate, understandable, transparent reporting of usage and pay. No double dipping for doing the same job, for example a manager should not double charge for doing agent work or label management, and to make things easy to follow we want automatized, tagged payment systems.

5. Full transparency throughout the value chain without unreasonable terms of non-disclosure
Artists need access to, and correct information about, how their material is used, accounted and payed for in all steps from the source to the artist.

6. Accurate registration of credits and global database
Artists should be credited for their work every time it’s used, and we want to see a global and transparent data base for this.

7. A Duty of Care from artists’ intermediaries through the value chain
All intermediaries need to secure artists rights and fair pay, and to guarantee no one- sided agreements which means for example a record company entering into a licensing deal with terms that will benefit them, but be in disadvantage to artist

8. A balanced and vibrant live market
To ensure a healthy live market we want to see a general practice of fair commission rates between artists, agents, venues and promotors and on sale of merchandise. We suggest that ending of tour taxation and skipping age restrictions will support cultural diversity and promote music.

9. Fair competition and improved balance of negotiation positions
We want to improve negotiation positions and odds for the non dominant parties, and to enhance equality. As in other industries we want to see rules against unfair competition, such as access to playlists and favorable royalty calculations, or when international promotors force control over music festivals. We want a healthy and diverse live scene as well as balanced competition between major and independent companies.

10. Effective and affordable rights enforcement
We want a system that makes it easier and affordable for artists to take legal action regardless of size of their counterpart.

11. Obtain and spread knowledge Important ways of strengthening artists positions involve educating both the public and relevant stakeholders as well as promoting collaborations between organisations and enterprise.

12. Support for DIY artists
We support a closer connection between fans and artists to generate better income and stronger control. We will promote better opportunities and conditions for DIY, and we will address any proposed rules that might limit DIY.

13. Cooperations with other organisations
We need strong and efficient and neutral collecting societies and will work towards clearer and more transparent systems globally. We also encourage our members to participate in boards and panels where these issues are on the agenda.

14. Social programs
We will work for better social protection programs such as medical insurance and pension for both young and veteran artists. We also want to address all the aspects of mental health issues in an industry that is both challenging and exploitative.

15. Facilitate and work towards a healthy music sector, and the development of cultural and social diversity
We want all repertoires, regardless of genre or popularity, to have equal access to the market. We also want artists to be represented in all discussions regarding laws around exploitation and pay for their work. Artists should have equal control over licensing with other right holders.

You can download and read IAO Featured Artist Declaration here:

You can download and read IAO Bylaws and Rules Here: