KLYS is the Swedish Joint Committee for Artistic and Literary Professionals, an umbrella organization for collaboration between professional artists from all art disciplines in matters of common interest such as authors´ rights, labor market, freedom of expression, cultural diversity, social security and tax schemes. KLYS main objective is to protect the interests of the individual members in terms of cultural politics and union concerns and to improve the social and economic situation for artistic professionals.
KLYS was founded in 1959 in order to increase the impact of professional artists in union and culture policy matters. All affiliated organizations are autonomous, and the KLYS operation is based on unity among them.
According to the statutes, the objective of KLYS is to work for cooperation among the member organizations and to foster unity among various artistic and literary professionals. KLYS should also instill – among culture consumers, the general public, government agencies, and political decision makers – understanding for the economic and social conditions of the affiliated professional groups.
How does KLYS work?
KLYS strives to find a common platform for the contributions of member organizations in the area of cultural policy, and to coordinate these contributions. KLYS also furnishes support to the member organizations, particularly the small ones, for example in questions concerning legislation and ongoing endeavors in cultural policy.
Since many years KLYS has served as a body to which legislative proposals are referred. Each year KLYS issues a number of statements after deliberation over government and other reports in areas such as cultural policy, authors’ rights, tax schemes, labor market, and media. With the Swedish Ministry of Culture, KLYS regularly conducts discussions on various matters and problems of cultural policy.
KLYS also attends the cultural affairs committee and other committees of the Swedish parliament and individual agencies and municipalities to defend or accentuate cultural values and to uphold the interests of its members. KLYS often has direct or indirect representation in government investigations or working groups in the area of culture.
On its own initiative, KLYS arranges meetings and conferences on matters of cultural policy or other issues that may be of interest, such as authors’ rights, tax schemes and social security. KLYS also creates its own investigations or issues statements and proposals. This has occurred especially in regard to matters of taxation and copyright.
Who decides and who is in charge?
The assigned duties of KLYS are discharged not only by the secretariat but also by a working committee consisting of ten duly elected members of the organizations and the president of KLYS. This working body, the decision-making and executive agency for ongoing endeavors, meets about once a month. The highest decision-making body of KLYS is the board, which consists of one member and two alternates from each organization. The board meets at least three times a year. To assist in the work, KLYS also has working groups, both temporary and permanent, with representatives from its member organizations.
Membership in KLYS is available only to organizations, not to individual artists. The member organizations are national Swedish organizations in the cultural area representing artistic or literary professionals.
- The Swedish Writers Union
- Writers Guild of Sweden
- Swedish Union of Journalists
- The Swedish Association of Authors of Educational Material
- The Swedish National Artists’ Organization/ The Swedish Association of Craft and Design
- The Association of Swedish Illustrators
- Association of Swedish Professional Photographers
- Society of Swedish Composers
- The Swedish Society of Popular Music Composers
- The Swedish Musicians Union
- The Swedish Union of Professional Musicians
- Swedish Union of Theatrical Employees
- The Independent Filmmakers’ Union of Sweden
- Swedish Directors
- The Swedish Union for Clerical and Technical Employees in Industry, at the Swedish Radio, Swedish Television and Swedish Educational Radio
Areas of activity
One of the overall guidelines for KLYS’ activites is to improve the economic and social conditions for professional creating and performing artists by, for example, protecting authors’ and performers’ rights, and ensuring that reasonable payment is made for artistic work. KLYS also aims to highlight the role of culture and artists in society.
Another main objective is to work for strong freedom of expression in all creative media and to protect artistic integrity. KLYS also works to promote cultural diversity locally, regionally, nationally, and globally and for unity and mutual understanding between various groups of artists.
Overall guidelines för KLYS’ activites
- to improve the economic and social conditions for professional creating and performing artists by, for example, protecting authors’ and performers’ rights, and ensuring that reasonable payment is made for artistic work
- to highlight the role of the arts and artists in society
- to work for strong freedom of expression in all creative media
- to protect artistic integrity
- to promote cultural diversity locally, regionally, nationally, and globally
- to promote unity and mutual understanding between various groups of artists
- to influence public opinion and be a self-evident voice for professional artists
- to take aspects of gender and cultural diversity into account in all activities
Goals in KLYS’ main areas of activity
1. Authors’ and performers’ rights
- to strengthen professional artists’ economic and moral rights according to the copyright laws and in individual and collective agreements with employers and other parties
- to create an understanding among the public for the purpose of and need for authors’ and performers’ rights
2. Employment and social security issues
- to work for the creation of employment opportunities and the development of further education for artists
- to work for social security for artists such as unemployment insurance systems and retirement pensions
- to work for improved payments and salaries for professional artists
3. Freedom of expression and media policy
- to work for strong freedom of expression in all artistic media
- to promote diversity and work against a concentration of ownership in the media
- to defend and strengthen public service TV and radio
4. Tax issues
- to work for the adaptation of tax regulations to the needs of those working in the cultural field, for example, through a general reduced VAT rate
- to work for simplified tax regulations for self-employed artists and freelancers
5. Cultural policy
- to highlight the value of culture in its own right and to avoid the instrumentalisation of culture
- to highlight the artists’ role in society
- to maintain and defend the arm’s length principle in allocating public support of culture, that is, that politicians should decide the size of public funding for artistic activity, but should not have any influence on the artistic content and how it is distributed
6. International issues
- to cooperate with sister organisations throughout the world
- to develop Nordic cooperation within the EU and globally
- to defend the right to pursue a national cultural policy and to help protect local and regional expressions of culture in the increasing globalisation
Partners and cooperation
- Concerning authors’ and performers’ rights KLYS takes an active part in national governmental investigations, reports and legislation proposal
- KLYS and the Swedish collecting society Copyswede are situated on the same premises and cooperate closely on copyright-related issues. KLYS also cooperates with other collecitning societies, for example Bildupphovsrätt (the Swedish visual artists’ copyright organization), ALIS (the Swedish literary rights organization), STIM (the Swedish Composers Rights Society), SAMI (the Swedish Performers Rights Organization), TF Rättighetsbolaget (the Swedish actors’ union’s rights organization), which are all represented in KLYS’ authors rights network.
- KLYS is committed to international cultural issues. EU-related cultural issues are frequent in the daily work of KLYS since many decisions concerning authors’ rights and support schemes for artists are made at the European level. The participation in European and international networks is essential for KLYS to be able to monitor and influence the political processes in the EU and globally. KLYS participates in governmental working committees such as the EU committee at the Ministry of Culture. The representation in these kinds of committees give KLYS the possibility to discuss and analyze the impact that these international institutions have on culture and on the conditions for artistic and literary professionals. KLYS also has an internal international working group, where our member organizations are represented, which meets regularly to discuss the above mentioned issues.
- In Nordiska Konstnärsrådet (the Council of Nordic Artists) KLYS exchanges information with its Nordic sister organizations. The Nordic Council for Artists meets regularly in the Nordic countries.
- KLYS is also active in the Nordic network Nordisk upphovsmanna- och utövarallians, which is an informal Nordic network for cooperation in copyright issues, especially on EU level, between artist organizations and collecting societies in the Nordic countries.
The European cultural networks are important to KLYS in order to be able to monitor and to influence the political processes in the EU-institutions.
- ECCD – the European Coalitions for Cultural Diversity – is a network consisting of the European coalitions of the IFCCD. See below.
- KLYS is a member of IFCCD – the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity. One of the main tasks of the IFCCD is to monitor and influence the implementation and enforcement of the Unesco convention on cultural diversity, which was adopted by Unesco in 2005.