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Online music services and the UK’s creative sector will be able to trade more easily across Europe thanks to the Collective Rights Management Directive, agreed by the European Council, which will simplify the licensing process, saving businesses time and money and making it easier for them to operate right across Europe.
The agreement is set to benefit a thriving UK industry which accounts for 1.6 million jobs and more than 5 per cent of the UK economy.
Minister for Intellectual Property, Lord Younger, said the UK had a world class music sector which supported thousands of jobs across the country. “The very fact that we are one of only two net exporters of music in Europe underlines its importance. This deal should be seen as a positive step taken by the European Commission and I welcome this agreement. By simplifying cross-border licences we are making sure that we continue to do all we can to support this thriving industry.”
The UK welcomes the changes, which will mean the process for licensing music across the EU will be more efficient. This should help improve access to legitimate EU-wide online music services and will also introduce minimum standards of conduct for all EU collecting societies – the bodies that license copyright and collect royalties.
Currently an online music provider, wanting to set up a cross-border music service, has to obtain licences from multiple collecting societies in different member states. The changes introduced today will make it possible to go to fewer, and in some cases a single collecting society, making licensing more efficient.
The new rules on creative rights management were agreed by EU industry ministers at a meeting in Brussels 20 February. The meeting also discussed what the EU needs to do to create an industry-friendly environment in Europe. The UK believes that more needs to be to, done to reform the single market and cut EU red tape. EU leaders will discuss Europe’s industrial policy at a summit in Brussels at the end of March 2014.
The European Commission published the draft directive in July 2012. The policy is integral to the Commission’s 2010 Communication on the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It is part of a set of measures aimed at facilitating the licensing of rights and the access to digital content, thereby facilitating the development of the legal and cross-border offer of online products and services.