Media News - Friday, July 13, 2012
Following concerns over financial irregularities and difficult online licencing, the European Commission has proposed a new directive requiring copyright collecting societies to increase their transparency, efficiency and management of revenues. The companies concerned are the intermediaries set up between copyright owners (authors, songwriters) and service providers. Collecting societies are responsible for distributing and licencing musical, literary, academic and journalistic material and collecting royalties. Among the best known are SACEM in France, PRS in the UK and SABAM in Belgium. In 2010 collecting societies accounted for 80 percent revenues in the music industry, which itself was worth an estimated EUR 6bn. In proposing the measure on Wednesday, the Commission said some of these societies struggled to “adapt to the requirements of the management of online use of musical works, in particular in a cross-border context.” The EU executive said it wanted to end bad practices in the sector, such as the late payment of royalties to rights holders, or bad investment policies that can “swallow some of the royalties”. Under the terms of the legislation, collecting societies would be required to report their financial dealings in an annual transparency report and set up databases to keep better track of their own repertoire. (Euractiv)
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