Better access to online music in Europe?

While aiming at better access to online music in Europe ,the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament adopted a new directive on collective management of copyright and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the single market. The Directive was published on 20 March 2014 in the EU Official Journal. It entered into force on 9 April 2014 and Members States have to transpose the Directive into domestic law by 10 April 2016 at the latest.

The directive:

At this time, a lot of websites forbid consumers to download music or eBooks if they don’t live in the country where the website is based. This is legal. Protection of an author’s rights is often given as a reason. This is the case for La Fnac or Amazon. This situation hinders the realization of a real single market. The aim of the directive is to improve management of copyright and cross-border licensing of online music. Online retailers and music streaming services won’t have to obtain a copyright license in every EU member state. With this new legal framework, they will be able to get them from collective management organizations which work across borders.  Concerning authors, it will ensure that their rights are better protected and their royalties paid more quickly.

What are collective management organizations?

The content of books, films or music is protected by copyright. The right holder can choose between the individual or collective management of his rights. Collective management organizations collect, manage and distribute revenue from the exploitation of these rights. They play an important role in promoting cultural diversity. For exemple, in France, we can find the SACEM (Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique) or the GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführung und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) in Germany.

New rights for consumers:

This new directive will provide several new rights for consumers. Currently, the fragmentation which exists prevents customers from enjoying the biggest access to the diversity of musical repertoires. It should give consumers a much wider choice of music to download or stream online. It should increase the creation of new online music services. It will develop online broadcasting of cultural goods. It will also increase the development of new models of music access.  The cost for the access of these services will decrease. The European commission wants a real single market in the author’s right sector and more freedom for consumers to choose in online music services.

 

 

Marie EliseMarie-Elise TOURNIER

Etudiante en master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique, passionnée de nouvelles technologie et des problématiques juridiques en découlant.

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