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CISAC Launches Ukraine Fund to Assist Victims of Russian Invasion

The fund is being billed as the first step in a wider initiative dubbed "Creators for Ukraine," which will support music makers and refugees who have fled the country.

CISAC, the global confederation of authors societies, is launching a new fund to support victims of the war in Ukraine. This is the first step in a wider initiative the society dubs “Creators for Ukraine,” which will support creators and refugees who have fled the country.

CISAC is accepting donations, and monies collected will be directed, first and foremost, to help CISAC’s member societies in Ukraine stay afloat during the war and to support the Polish affiliate ZAIKS, which will assist the many Ukrainian refugees who are music makers. There will also be money funneled to societies in surrounding countries like Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, which will, in turn, direct the funds to local charities aligned with the Creators for Ukraine ethos.

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Björn Ulvaeus, president of CISAC, said of the fund, “Ukraine is witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe, and its victims include many of our fellow creators and friends in the creative sector. The Creators for Ukraine fund can be a way for people to help, however great or how little the donation. With this action, the CISAC community of creators and societies is once again proving its strength, solidarity and readiness to act at a moment of crisis.”

The announcement of the fund is just the latest in a string of other actions taken by music industry companies worldwide to support Ukraine’s efforts against Russia. On March 8, the UK’s largest collection society, PRS for Music, announced it would be suspending its relationship with the Russian collection society RAO, effective immediately. PRS also said it was working with CISAC to consider the ongoing membership of Russian societies in its global network, though so far, CISAC has not announced that it will be suspending its Russian affiliates.

The major labels have also sprung into action. On Tuesday (March 8), Universal Music Group (UMG) announced that it will be “suspending all operations in Russia,” and is also working with World Central Kitchen and the Red Cross to provide aid. In a note to Sony Music’s employees worldwide, the major said it was working through Sony Corp.’s philanthropic partners to donate for humanitarian aid in Ukraine, including the Red Cross, Save the Children and World Central Kitchen. The company also said it will match any full-time employee’s donation up to $2,000 for approved organizations.

At Warner Music, leadership sent out an internal memo to staff on Friday (March 4) saying that it would match contributions to the International Committee of the Red Cross through the end of the month and would additionally make a company donation to Polish Humanitarian Action and Project Hope. The music group will also provide its Polish team with extra supplies and resources as the conflict unfolds.

On the tech front, Spotify is no longer running advertising in Russia, TikTok has pulled back from Russia amid the anti-fake news crackdown by streaming services and YouTube, Spotify, and TikTok have banned content from Russian state-sponsored news outlets RT and Sputnik.