Collecting societies enter into standardised administration agreements (equal treatment principle) with their rightholders in which the latter transfer certain rights and claims to their society. Internationally, collecting societies are linked together by a dense network of agreements with foreign partner organisations. This ensures that users can acquire the relevant repertoire from a single source.
Authors are at liberty to choose which rights they wish to transfer to which collecting societies and for which countries. Usually, however, they transfer the rights for worldwide use to their national collecting society, because the international network ensures that their rights are effectively protected worldwide.