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24th May 2019

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Commission pledges collective rights directive ‘within weeks’

  • MEPs want new laws on collective copyright that would transform the system of royalty payments (Photo: realSMILEY)

The European Commission will publish a draft proposal of collective rights management within weeks, said Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier.

Barnier told the European Parliament's legal affairs committee on Monday (13 February) that the Commission had concluded a public consultation on the legislation.

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Commission officials are currently finalising details to two components of the legislation: harmonising transparency and governance rules for copyright societies; and developing new rules for the licensing of online music that would allow multi-territory online music licensing.

“We want to provide a clear legal framework, ladies and gentlemen, to facilitate the granting of multi-territory online music licensing”, he said, before assuring MEPs that he expected to be able to present the final text “within a few weeks”.

Opening the debate, French centre-right MEP Marielle Gallo stressed the urgency of having new legislation with the collective copyright sector in the EU worth €4.6bn for nearly 100 management companies out of a global industry valued at €7.5bn.

Gallo, who is in charge of the related dossier on Orphan Works, stressed the need for a transparent legal framework, ensuring choice for consumers alongside equal distribution of royalties to rights holders. Other MEPs called for the proposal to allow full interoperability, with online and mobile phone users able to access the same licenses.

The debate was triggered by an oral question to the Commission by the Legal Affairs Committee, which demanded a date for the submission of a collective rights directive and detail on its scope.

MEPs feel that the Commission has dragged its feet on the issue, having promised to come forward with a directive on collective rights for over a year.

In its 2011 Intellectual Property Rights Strategy, the Commission promised to submit proposals before the end of last year.

Most recently it announced that a ‘fast-track future proposal’ was to be made in the first quarter of 2012, with agreement by parliament and member states aimed for end of this year.

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