The Commission has adopted a proposal for a directive on collective rights management and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses.
The proposal aims at ensuring that rightholders have a say in the management of their rights and envisages better functioning collecting societies as a result of the set standards all over Europe. The proposed directive will also ease the licensing of authors' rights for the use of music on the Internet. This should lead to improved access to and more offer of music online.
Creative industries contribute significantly to GDP, employment and growth in the EU. The distribution of copyright protected goods and services (e.g. books, films, recorded music) requires the licensing of rights by different rightholders (e.g. authors, performers, producers). Collecting societies are often essential in facilitating the licensing of such rights, notably when direct licensing by rightholders is not feasible or practical. From the viewpoint of many commercial users, whether active in traditional (e.g. broadcasting, cable retransmission) or new forms of exploitation (e.g. download, streaming services), the role of collecting societies is also essential. Moreover, they play a key role in the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions by enabling the smallest and less popular repertoires to access the market.
Collective rights management has a Single Market dimension. Even when collecting societies grant licences limited to their own territory their licences normally cover the rights of both domestic rightholders and rightholders from other Member States. For online uses, collecting societies are increasingly requested to grant licences that cover several or all Member States.
The degree to which different rightholders and sectors rely on collective management varies, depending largely on the preference of rightholders and on the needs and practices of different industries. Authors, in particular of musical works (composers and lyricist), rely the most on collective management.