Adventures at Artisjus

Artisjus, according to their website is the Hungarian Bureau for the Protection of Authors’ Rights. They are the official body which makes sure authors of all sorts of arts and fields of entertainment get their reward. for coming up with, and performing their acts. Artisjus is the national company that works hard for musicians, lyricists, or poets even to maintain their rights and make sure they are continuously able to produce high quality material for the Hungarian market by distributing fees fairly among them.

Artisjus is indeed a huge company, located at the six-story building of Mészáros u. 15-17 with lots and lots of offices and a great many people working there to make sure everything works flawlessly and fluently. There are a couple of minor things however, which, no matter how hard they try, the bureau cannot do or implement on their own. First of all, a lot of money comes in from the Artisjus fees of each and every live show, performance or concert. Since the many workers at Artisjus are understandably unable to follow the crazy flaw of the live scene, concert organizers themselves have to pay the fee to the office. If reporting and sending the payment might have been forgotten by the particular organizer, bands of the evening themselves are most welcome to report the event at Artisjus. They are of course risking the possibility to be invited by the same concert organizer ever again, but that is just a minor issue compared to all the goodness bands are offered.

The second thing which the bureau cannot really have their hands on is the internet. Since they are unable to track song downloads themselves, bands are asked to contribute a proportion of their income to the office on their own. Also, Artisjus are working on cooperating with youtube in order to work out a fair plan for bands on cutting back the minor income bands have by displaying ads on the bottom of their youtube videos. Of course paying these sums are really beneficial for the Hungarian bands, since they have the opportunity to, by fair redistribution, get some of their payments back. And redistribution could not be made fairer: as the concerts and numbers of albums sold of the good old big names are always reported, they understandably get much more money out of the system than worthless little bands with their untraceable internet sales and indie concert organizers. To make sure that those amateurish bands receive nothing, there is a minimal cap introduced to the system, so under a certain amount of fee to be paid to them, they simply get nothing. This way it is made sure that those huge, old names in the business are able to produce high quality material, while the new, amateurish losers will eventually go and find a normal job.

In order to maintain this well-working system of busy bees, there are numerous fees have to be paid when one is attempting to release a product under the umbrella of art. First, one has to register themselves, for a fee of course. Then, one has to report their songs one by one, and finally, the release itself, which again, has a small fee of 6500 HUF, no matter if it is given out for free. However, it is a bitter pill which we all have to swallow in order to make sure the huge machine of the bureau works flawlessly. And the offices are very busy indeed: for example if you want to pay the fee for your release, it is not possible to be paid by cash on the spot, instead, you have to go to another department, and get a cheque. In that other department it might turn out that the cheque cannot be given out that easily: then, you have to go to a third department, tell your address there, and the cheque will be posted to you by a fourth one. And of course, after the cheque has still not arrived after two weeks, you have to contact a fifth department to be informed what the problem might be.

As we see, it is lethal to maintain such a huge, monstrous body so both the rights and monetary issues of creative people are effectively and responsibly dealt with. The office, of course, have their own costs, but as incoming funds are redistributed in a totally fair manner, sustaining such a massive, grand official body is fully and wholeheartedly justified.

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