Niels Mosumgaard, Chairman of the Koda Board of Directors

The Chairman's Report

On 8 December 2016, Koda’s members adopted a new set of articles of association for Koda. The event took place at the second of two extraordinary general meetings, which coincided almost exactly with Koda’s 90th anniversary. The new articles of association introduce several fundamental changes that reshape and enhance democracy in Koda. 

Koda was originally founded in 1926 by the Danish music publishers in Musikforlæggerforeningen and by the authors of variety show sketches and songs in DPA (Danish Songwriters Guild), then known as Danske Revytekstforfattere. They wanted to establish an agreement with the Danish Broadcast Corporation, Danmarks Radio (DR), which had only just begun operating at the time. In this sense Koda became an add-on to the two associations, a business unit that shared the same members as its founders. It was only natural that the Danish Songwriters Guild – and the composer associations that subsequently joined them, DKF and DJBFA – and the music publishers regarded themselves as the owner-associations within Koda. Historically, this was indeed their business.

However, much has changed since then. In 1960 Koda had just 600 members; today we have 45,000. Koda is a strong business surrounded by a strong members’ organisation, so it was high time to introduce a number of changes to our organisational set-up and decision-making processes, allowing a wider circle of voting members to exert influence on Koda.

In April 2016 a new law on the collective management of copyright entered into force in Denmark; a law which we had worked our way towards for some years.  When we hold our first general meeting according to our new articles of association on 27 April 2017, that occasion will mark the culmination of a long process of change. A process that has been partly based on a set of new guidelines that we on the Board of Directors have worked on for a long time, and which certainly had a strong impact on the agendas of this past year. From now on, the four rightsholder associations will continue to hold influence, but as a minority: for the first time ever, five out of nine seats on the Board of Directors will be allocated on the basis of direct election. What is more, Koda members will make a range of important decisions at the general meetings, for example on issues such as remuneration, on the allocation of cultural contributions, on the principles behind Koda’s investment policies, and more.

The changes we implemented in 2016 will help ensure that Koda keeps up with the times, that it remains competitive, and that it maintains its status as a democratic and attractive society. For Koda’s place in the world has changed. Competition within our field has become fiercer in the last decade, and the largest music publishers and collective rights management societies may now realistically withdraw their repertoire from Koda. Even now we are down to managing less than 50% within the field of digital rights.

If Koda is to continue to be the best negotiation partner for customers, authors and music publishers, Koda must be efficient, transparent and professional in all things. 

For example, this means that there must always be a clear link between the use of your music and the money you make. Koda’s distribution policies should not seek to compensate for the fact that the most popular music – what get played and performed the most – also makes the most money. Koda should not favour one group of members over another in its distributions.

For this reason it is crucially important that we still have the cultural contributions. They cut across all genres, meaning that they can benefit and support everyone: from very successful music to music that operates outside the mainstream. The changes introduced in 2016 have made it possible for all members to apply for support via Koda’s cultural contributions, and to do so from all four member associations, which continue to be responsible for managing the funds. This means that the professional expertise and insight that each of these associations represents becomes particularly important in the professional assessment of each individual project’s potential and requirements. Together, the associations span the entire spectrum from niche art to the commercially popular, and this is an important factor.

Koda is a small society, but nevertheless we enjoy a reputation as one of the best collective rights management societies in the world. That is very helpful when we collaborate with the wider world in order to arrive at the best agreements for everyone. And this has also made it particularly important for Koda to remain at the forefront in our implementation of the new legislation and EU directive. Our strong position enables us to fight to make the other collective rights management societies open and transparent, thereby ensuring that Danish rightsholders receive the distributions they deserve. It is also important when we argue our case before the EU, pointing out that everyone who makes money from the digital distribution of content should be legally obliged to license the music used, thereby helping to ensure that digital distribution does not spell the doom of music, but can provide a range of new sales points instead. We find that our arguments fall on attentive ears – including among politicians.  

The new democratic changes to Koda’s decision-making processes and the tremendous effort put in by Koda’s administration in recent years have prepared us well for the future. We look confidently ahead to yet another ninety years with a strong collective rights management society in Denmark.



Niels Mosumgaard, Chairman of the Koda Board of Directors




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Koda’s Board of Directors

From the top left: Jacob Morild - DPA, Niels Mosumgaard - DPA, Niels Marthinsen - DKF amd Ole Dreyer Wogensen - Musikforlæggerne.

From the bottom left: Peter Littauer - Musikforlæggerne, Jens Visby - Medarbejderrepræsentant, Tine Birger Christensen - Musikforlæggerne, Susi Hyldgaard - DJBFA, Morten Alfred Høirup - DJBFA and Bent Sørensen - DKF.



The changes we implemented in 2016 will help ensure that Koda keeps up with the times, that it remains competitive, and that it maintains its status as a democratic and attractive society

Niels Mosumgaard, Chairman of the Koda Board of Directors


Members in thousands

Works in Koda's database

Works in millions