Euro Commission Plans New Rules For Collective Licensing

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — New rules for online collective licensing arrangement will be unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday, October 5th. The Commission will give a series of changes in the way collecting societies operate within the European Union.

The main purpose of the plan is to create a system that ensures musical rights can be cleared efficiently on an EU-wide basis so that the European online market can catch up with the U.S.

The Commission, Europe’s executive body, was forced to rewrite key elements of its initial plans unveiled in July. The controversial paper was met with fierce criticism from a wide range of industry groups, and even from within the Commission administration, according to Billboard.biz.

According to sources close to the Commission, the new plan foresees a single licensing contract, easy accessibility to repertoire and few overheads; and will call for a new rights management structure for the use of music online.

The Commission’s view is that the complicated bureaucratic system involving national societies in all 25 European Union countries is impeding the growth of Web-based music services such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store, Napster and Yahoo! Music.

“With the music sector shifting towards the Internet, a new generation of copyright licensing models is needed that does not use a system of territorial licensing,” said a Commission spokesperson. “Our plan sets forth a credible system through direct EU-wide licensing of repertoires.”

According to Billboard.biz, the plan is a hybrid of two options originally suggested separately in the discussion paper published in July. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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