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EC suggests changes of the music rights management system

18 July, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Kommission will Verwaltung von Musikrechten ändern

The European Commission (EC) published a draft EU Directive on 11 July 2012 showing the intention to introduce a system of collective rights management to be used for the distribution of music online in the single market.

In the EC’s opinion, the collecting societies can issue a licence for the Internet use of a songwriter or composer's work, but some only do so for one country. Further more the collective societies have not adapted to the present shift to the digital age while “music pirates seize the opportunities that the online world offers”.

“I propose establishing an effective online single market for music by establishing new, common rules for two interlinked areas – management and online licensing across borders (.....) Firstly, I want to establish rules of efficiency and transparency in collecting societies, so that artists and producers will have more say, and an improved stream of revenue,” said Single market commissioner Michael Barnier.

Another proposal in the draft Directive is to make online licensing across borders easier for collecting societies that manage the rights of songwriters and composers. Collecting societies have also to ensure they are "diligent in the collection and the management of rights revenue" and that they carry out "distribution and payments accurately, ensuring equal treatment of all categories of rights holders."

The draft Directive says that societies have to publish yearly accounts, pass on royalties to the copyright owners in 12 month time at the most. They also have to give artists a role in management decisions and the right to choose which agency represents them in a certain country.

The directive is now to be discussed by government ministers and the European Parliament's Legal Affairs committee.

Moving the single market for online music (11.07.2012)

EU targets €6-bn-a-year artists' royalties business (11.07.2012)

Radiohead join attack on new EU copyright rules (12.07.2012)

EU aims to bring music collecting societies into line (12.07.2012)

EU proposes greater transparency and stricter governance for collecting societies (11.07.2012)



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