EC says collection society guidelines will remain voluntary

January 2008

Music publishing

The European Commission has said that it currently has no plans to introduce new legislation that would force an overhaul of the publishing royalty collecting societies across Europe but will continue to evaluate the effect of voluntary guidelines already in place that encourage the royalties sector to offer artists, labels and digital music firms more choice in terms of which societies they work with and in offering pan-European licences. The EC has been encouraging the collecting societies to reform the way they operate, partly because of concerns the way each society traditionally dominates in its home country is anti-competitive on a European level, and also because many argue digital music services can only prosper if there is a one stop shop to licence music across Europe. The logic behind the EC’s recommendations is that collecting societies give up certain monopolies they have essentially enjoyed in their home territories and instead take advantage of the opportunities that come from the pan-European royalty market.

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