Music Copyrights

This looks, at least from this report, like a remarkably silly idea from the European Union:

Songwriters from the Rolling Stones to the Arctic Monkeys will be able to pick any of two dozen societies to collect their royalties in the European Union after the bloc\’s executive clamped down on "anti-competitive practices".

The European Commission has given 24 European societies, which collect music copyright fees for artists, 120 days to revise their cross-border agreements.

This will also enable societies to license material for use on the internet or by broadcast stations outside their own countries.

I\’ve no problem with the idea that you as the copyright holder can use whoever you wish to collect the licence payments on said copyright. Given the collective nature of, say, the PRS\’s contractual relationships I can\’t see anyone wanting to abandon that part at least.

However, this:

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said exactly the opposite, adding that the collecting societies can still continue to hold monopolies inside their own countries.

So, umm, in licensing outside the home country, there is no longer a monopoly? For internet or broadcasting? So, if I\’m happy for my song to be licensed for an ad in Croatia, but not in the UK, the Croation guys can still licence my song to be used in an ad in the UK?

Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

Competition in the collection of royalties, that I understand. Competition in the allocation of rights, when those rights are by definition (and construction, that\’s what copyrights are) a monopoly simply sounds very weird indeed.



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