Fabian Demicoli

ECs decision regarding an all-encompassing European licensing of music

 The European Commission and the European Composers' and Songwriters' Alliance (ECSA) have lately been in conflict with one another, with the latter threatening to withdraw the singer songwriters' and lyricists' catalogues from circulation. On the 16th July the Commission put forward plans to enhance competition with regard to the collective management of copyright royalties levied on the playing of music on the internet, cable and satellite. This prohibits 24 European collecting societies from restricting competition by limiting their ability to offer their services to authors and commercial users outside their domestic territory.

Music copyright groups were ordered to put an end to a system that makes it difficult for online music stores to buy EU-wide licenses. According to ECSA, which is supported by famous artists like Sir Paul McCartney, such a step might cause irreparable damage to the creation of music in the European Union, a loss of an extreme amount of revenue for many creators around the world whose livelihood depends on this sector.

In its view, the restriction of consumers' choice and the increase in piracy could be affected by the Commission's decisions.

Two recent complaints highlighted the fact that broadcasters cannot sign multi-repertoire licensing agreements with two copyright companies because of territorial restrictions on the licensing agreements imposed by the copyright companies. In this regard, the European Commission wants to discard this territoriality aspect. According to ECSA, more competition would hurt smaller collecting agencies and less well-known musicians.

Source: Focus at MEUSAC

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