EU welcomes SACEM’s pan-European ambition

June 2009

Music publishing

The European Union Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes has welcomed progress in the music collection society sector on the provision of pan-European licences for digital music after French collecting society SACEM said they are ready to entrust other collecting societies with their repertoire for pan-European licensing, while offering to represent other societies’ repertoire on a non-exclusive basis. European officials have been in conflict with the collecting society community because of the lack of pan-European licences. Officials say that a system whereby providers of digital music services must get a separate licence from each national collecting society is anti-competitive, because the collecting society in each territory effectively has a monopoly, that pan-European licences would make it easier to launch a pan-European digital music service and that such licences would force the societies Europe to compete with each other, thus ending the monopoly concerns.  Commenting on those and other developments, Kroes said “There is a clear willingness expressed by major players in the online distribution of music in Europe to tackle the many barriers which prevent consumers from fully benefiting from the opportunities that the internet provides. I therefore encourage the major players, in particular publishers and collecting societies, to move quickly to adapt their licensing solutions to the online environment. I will review progress at the next meeting of the roundtable that I will organise shortly with other major players in the online music market”.
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