24th Mar 2018

MEPs back pan-EU music licence deal

  • Online music sites will be able to buy pan-EU licences under the new legislation (Photo: Douglas Heriot)

Online music providers such as Spotify and iTunes will be able to buy licences allowing them to offer music across the entire EU, under legislation backed by MEPs on Tuesday (4 February).

Deputies in the European Parliament strongly backed a new law that will allow music download sites to secure music rights from collective management organisations that are valid across the EU.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Online music sites will be able to buy pan-EU licenses under the new legislation (Photo: European Commission)

Organisations managing authors' works will be required to prove that they can process data from service providers showing when music is downloaded or streamed online, and that they can match this data to the music by their clients.

Under the current regime, the estimated 250 organisations representing artists in the EU have to get licences to offer music on a country-by-country basis.

MEPs say the law should stimulate the development of EU-wide online music services and that lower licensing costs will mean cheaper prices and greater access for consumers.

Meanwhile, collective rights groups will be required to pay artists within nine months of the end of each financial year to ensure that artists' performing rights are paid out faster.

The rules "will make it possible for users to have access to copyright-protected content throughout Europe," said Marielle Gallo, the French centre-right MEP who took the legislation through parliament.

“This directive is a clear signal that copyright can be easily adapted to the Internet. Copyright has an essential role to play in the digital economy,” she added.

"The digital music revolution will no longer be hampered by outdated EU law," said UK conservative MEP Sajjad Karim. "There are already some great online music services in different EU countries and soon they can be made available right across the continent."

The EU recorded music market was worth around €4.1 billion in 2012, while the industry is also responsible for an estimated 6.7 million jobs.

Single market commissioner Michel Barnier described the bill as "a cornerstone of the digital single market," adding that it would "contribute to wider availability and better choice of offers of online music in Europe."

The Performing Rights Society also welcomed the passing of the bill which it said would "deliver high standards for governance and transparency, along with a voluntary framework for aggregation of repertoire for online multi-territory licensing underpinned by agreed standards."

The new directive, due to come into force in 2016, now needs the final sign off from EU governments, which is expected to happen within the next couple of weeks.

Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case

In a letter to a coalition of transparency NGOs, the EU executive has repeated that a meeting between its former boss - now working for Goldman Sachs - and the current vice president was "fully in line" with the rules.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.


Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK

The EU will maintain pressure on the US to resolve a tariff dispute. On Monday, European Commission president Juncker, along council president Tusk, will discuss relations with Turkey's president Erdogan. Additional national measures against Russia are also expected.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU wants 'Paris' climate strategy within 13 months
  2. Workload of EU court remains high
  3. Spain's supreme court charges Catalan separatist leaders
  4. EU calls for 'permanent' exemption from US tariffs
  5. Summit backs guidelines for future EU-UK talks
  6. Macron support drops as public sector workers go on strike
  7. EU leaders condemn Turkey for illegal actions in Aegean Sea
  8. Parliament must publish 'trilogue' documents, court says

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. Nordic states discuss targeted Russia sanctions
  2. Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case
  3. Germany and France promise new Russia sanctions
  4. EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'
  5. Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK
  6. EU leaders roll over Brexit talks amid Trump and Russia fears
  7. Europe needs corporate tax reform - a digital tax isn't it
  8. EU data chiefs rally behind UK over Cambridge Analytica