Changes in European music licensing laws

Two interesting developments took place in music licensing laws in Europe recently. Until now, licensing tracks for online use has been a labyrinth that has negatively affected the growth of online music. Potential uses had o contact each individual authors rights society, which is a significant administrative task.

The European Parliament’s legal affairs committee voted unanimously to allow online providers to obtain copyright licenses to stream music across E.U. borders. The proposed law would allow for a small number of authors’ collective management organizations to operate across E.U. borders.

The Parliament hopes the proposal will lead to more and better online music services. The law would apply to music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer as well as online music retailers including Amazon, 7Digital and Apple.

Music licensing laws to lead to changes in authors societies

The use of rights in the music sector accounts for about 80 percent of the revenue received by collecting societies. There are more than 250 collecting societies across the E.U.

“Today’s vote demonstrates that, contrary to some misconceptions, all political groups acknowledge that copyright is compatible with the digital age and can easily adapt to it,” said Marielle Gallo, the French member of Parliament who crafted the law.
The second development is of more concern to creators and authors. The proposed law, called the Collective Rights Management Directive, also establishes a minimum set of rules for the collective management organizations. For example, royalties would be distributed to artists no later than nine months from the end of the financial year in which the rights revenue would be collected. as rights can currently require years to fully flow through to the actual author, this will require a major change in the way they work. Although many have been advancing on improving internal services, the rapid transfer of rights between societies remains an issue. Music licensing in Europe is set to undergo big changes.

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