Bjorn Ulvaeus addresses 2020 CISAC General Assembly

Bjorn Ulvaeus c Ivan da Silva for Zap PR

Bjorn Ulvaeus addressed the CISAC General Assembly with a powerful video speech, shortly before his election as the new CISAC President.  Here are some key excerpts from his speech.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be president of anything and here I am with a reasonable chance of becoming President of the only global organization for songwriters like me,  as well as for visual artists, screen writers, playwrights and literary authors. And this at a time of the severest of disruptions. The corona pandemic. It’s a very daunting challenge and at the same time a fabulous opportunity.

The corona crisis is changing the way we think or, should I say, the way we try to think about the future. It’s changing our mental states and hopefully making us receptive and open to meet new challenges in a post corona world.   And in all this change, CISAC will be an important player, with a mission that I profoundly believe in.

CISAC has unique strengths. It has an enormous reach across the globe; a tremendous diversity of interests, repertoires and genres; and the authority of an organization that has looked after creators and protected their rights for nearly a century. I can’t say how proud I am to be considered for the presidency of such a glorious organization.

It has a history that reaches back into the almost mythical past where people created wonderful pieces of art, just like today. 

Yes, I would really like to communicate the soft values that underpin CISAC. That’s a big part of my job. We are a global organization that’s not only nonprofit, but also totally on the creator’s side. None other truly is. That is so great, and it’s worth repeating.

Another important part of the CISAC story is that we are actually pretty cool because we’re always striving to be at the forefront of technologies that are relevant to creators. Tech that can win them both more royalties and greater recognition for their role and importance in society.

In the digital market, those who create still earn too little while technology platforms and others get the lion’s share. 

Creative works online go unidentified because of inefficient systems, on all sides. As a result, money – a huge amount of money – is left on the table that should be going into the hands of creators. 

For a long time now, I’ve worked to try and reverse that injustice, and I will continue to do so. If you’d ask me to choose a motto it would be:  transparency, efficiency and fairness.