Tuesday, 20 October 2009
Simpler Music Licensing in Sight?
Yesterday, European Commissioner Neelie Kroes hosted a round table (although judging from the photo on the Commission website, right, it was in fact an oval table) among licensors of music publishing rights (EMI Music Publishing, SACEM, PRS for Music, Universal Music Publishing) and other interested parties (including Amazon, iTunes, Nokia, BEUC).
The outcome was a joint statement (here) setting out general principles designed to deliver improved online music opportunities for European consumers, including working towards "an open, fair and transparent licensing process that secures an appropriate level of royalties for right holders and authors is in the interest of all players and therefore of cultural diversity in Europe."
It will be interesting to see whether the Commission can deliver on making this into reality - in the past, attempts to make life easy for licensees have foundered either on competition grounds (the Commission itself being instrumental in this) or on societies fighting to preserve their own parochial interests.
The Commission promised that it remained committed to work with the market to bring "real benefits to consumers", so we can all rest easy and look forward to a bright future.