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Pan-European Music Licences On The Way?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
15 years ago2,364 views

From | Your gateway to the EU's press release at

«The European Commission today adopted a recommendation on the management of online rights in musical works. The recommendation puts forward measures for improving the EU-wide licensing of copyright for online services. Improvements are necessary because new Internet-based services such as webcasting or on on-demand music downloads need a license that covers their activities throughout the EU. The absence of EU-wide copyright licenses has been one factor that has made it difficult for new Internet-based music services to develop their full potential.»

As written by Ars Technica |
«Last year, European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes ... asked "Why is it possible to buy a CD from an online retailer and have it shipped to anywhere in Europe, but it is not possible to buy the same music, by the same artist, as an electronic download with similar ease? ... Why do pan-European services find it so difficult to get a pan-European license? Why do new, innovative services find licensing to be such a hurdle?"»

In Europa's Above press release, the issues raised last year may be about to be addressed by the European Commission:
«Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: “Today we have made workable proposals on how licensing of musical work for the Internet can be improved. I want to foster a climate where EU-wide licenses are more readily available for legitimate online music service providers. These licenses will make it easier for new European-based online services to take off. I believe that this recommendation strikes the right balance between ease of licensing and maintaining the value of copyright protected works so that content is not available on the cheap. In the interests of better regulation, for the time being and as a first step, I am making a recommendation as to how the market should develop. I will be monitoring the situation closely and, if I am not satisfied that sufficient progress is being made, I will take tougher action.”»

The Distorted Loop | writes about Apple's involvement with the new measures,
«The news is revealed within a series of documents published by the European Union today, following last year’s historic European meeting on pan-European music licensing rights.
European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes has welcomed progress made towards pan-European music licensing following discussions in the Online Commerce Roundtable.»

«Kroes ... welcomed confirmation by multinational record company EMI that it is ready to entrust rights managers to offer its repertoire for the whole European Economic Area (EEA) and notes Apple’s statements that if iTunes was readily able to license rights on a multi-territorial basis from publishers and collecting societies, it would consider making its content available to all European consumers, including those in EU countries where iTunes is currently not available. The report on the Roundtable, just published on the Europa website, outlines the conclusions of the meeting that Commissioner Kroes hosted on 17 September 2008, as well as of a 16 December 2008 follow-up meeting which focused on the distribution of online music.»

A 9to5mac commenter [] also notes that «Apple got into trouble some time ago for this, and although they had to normalise prices across the EU they were allowed to keep separate stores due to the licensing issue.Once the licensing is sorted out then a single apple store follows logically.» which shows why it's in Apples interest to pioneer such a move.

Ars Technica reveals France's SACEMS's involvement «French licensing society SACEM and music label EMI have both agreed in principle to allow their works to be licensed more easily across Europe ... SACEM's involvement has at least a symbolic importance, as it was the world's very first collection society.»

I welcome this news, especially with the EUs increasingly Online-Friendly laws, and I hope that under new licences we might be protected from the current might of Record Industries on our governments in taking down the average user.

Here's to hoping!

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