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EU official pushing for cross-border music licenses

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 08 Oct 2005 20:04

EU official pushing for cross-border music licenses A European Union official wants to simplify the way music is licensed to online music retailers in the Europe, saying that Europe is going to fall far behind without the creation of a cross-border licensing system. Charlie McCreevy, European Commission for the internal Market and Services made his remarks in London on Friday. "Europe's model of copyright clearance belongs more to the 19th century than to the 21st," he said. "Once upon a time it may have made sense for the member state to be the basic unit of division. The Internet overturns that premise,"
Complaints about the licensing systems in Europe were made by both iTunes and Napster as they created services in European countries. The problem is that, to launch a music store in Europe, consent needs to be given to dozens of license holders in each state including record labels, royalty collection societies, music publishers and sometimes artists. The result of this system was delays of iTunes and Napster launches in Europe in the past.

Some music services like Yahoo haven't dared yet venture into Europe because of this problem. McCreevy said he planned to introduce a proposal "based on the premise that territory-by-territory management of copyright clearance is too cumbersome and too costly." Sales of music downloads in Europe were far less than in North America so far because of the launch delays and other complications.

"It is not efficient for content users and it does not serve the interests of right-holders who want their content disseminated as widely as possible," McCreevy added, commenting on the current system. "In a territory-by-territory model, the weakest link in the chain will hold up the quick and effective roll-out of their latest creative content."


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