Last year Russian Authors’ Society was widely discussed by mass media due to different scandals. Arrest of the former RAO general Director Sergey Fedotov became the high-water mark of that crises. Mr. Fedotov was accused of a multi-million embezzlement. Many RAO members claimed that they had been regularly underpaid, and demanded to change the organization management. New head of the RAO Authors’ Council Igor Butman gave an interview to Lenta.Ru and described the current situation in the Society.
Lenta.Ru: On August 31, 2016, you were elected as President of the RAO Authors’ Council. You have already been in the office for 6 months. Can you tell us of the results of your work?
Butman: I’ve been a member of RAO for many years, and all these years I’ve been trying to understand how the Society functions. Unfortunately previous RAO executives couldn’t give a distinct answer to my questions.
With the new management team we got rid of the closed system faults. We believe that open dialogue is the only way forward.
We have already made first steps towards improvement of cooperation between authors and RAO. We introduced Personal Accounts for rights holders, upgraded and improved the web-site.
It’s vitally important to create strong effective communication between the RAO management and Society members. Refusal of the previous executives to solve long-standing problems led to conflicts and forced some of the authors to leave RAO.
But we will be glad if members of the previous Authors’ Council members agree to join it again. They would undoubtedly help us and share there expertise for the benefit of the collective management system.
At the moment RAO is undergoing through some changes, aimed at enhancement of our regional collection net. The audit allowed us to get rid of large amount of inappropriate expenses.