[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[InetBib] WG: EU proposes greater transparency and stricter governance for collecting societies

Hört, hört! Geht es jetzt VG Wort, GEMA u.a. an den Kragen?

Dr. Harald Müller

Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht / 
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law / Library
Im Neuenheimer Feld 535; D-69120 Heidelberg
Phone: +49 6221 482 219; Fax: +49 6221 482 593
Mail: hmueller@xxxxxxx

Gesendet: Freitag, 20. Juli 2012 18:02
Bis: EBLIDA-EGIL listserve
Betreff: [eblida-egil] EU proposes greater transparency and stricter governance 
for collecting societies


Rights holders will be able to exercise greater control over organisations that 
collect royalties for them under new plans outlined by the European 
Commission.11 Jul 2012

The Commission has published a draft EU Directive 
  (46-page / 174KB PDF) which would, if enacted, set European-wide standards of 
transparency and governance that collecting societies would have to conform to.

The proposed new laws also seek "to encourage and facilitate multi-territorial 
and multi-repertoire licensing of authors' rights in musical works for online 
uses in the EU/EEA," according to the Commission.

Under the Commission's plans rights holders are given the express right to 
choose which collecting society should be able to manage their rights and have 
the right to terminate deals with collecting societies "upon serving reasonable 

Collecting societies would also be prohibited from managing the rights of 
rights holders for specific works, categories of rights or types of work or 
other "subject matter" without obtaining rights holders' "express consent" to 
do so and only after providing rights holders with details of "their rights" 
detailed in the draft Directive.

In general collecting societies would be required to "act in the best interest 
of their members" and "not impose on rights holders whose rights they manage 
any obligations which are not objectively necessary for the protection of the 
rights and interests of these rights holders."

Collecting societies would be obliged to hold general meetings of rights holder 
members at least once a year where members would have the power to decide 
whether directors of the society should be dismissed or refused pay or other 
benefits, such as pensions awards. At the meeting members would also be able to 
have a say on matters such as "the policy on the distribution of the amounts 
due to rights holders" and the collecting society's "general investment policy."

Further requirements are placed on collecting societies to ensure they are 
"diligent in the collection and the management of rights revenue" and that they 
carry out "distribution and payments accurately, ensuring equal treatment of 
all categories of rights holders."

In general rights holders must be paid the amount of royalties they are due 
within a year of the monies being collected. This is "unless objective reasons 
related in particular to reporting by users, the identification of rights, 
rights holders or to the matching of information on works and other subject 
matter with rights holders prevent the collecting society from respecting this 

Once a year collecting societies would also have to produce a report to detail 
to rights holders they collect royalties for what revenue they have collected 
and include any deductions to that figure that have been applied. Rights 
holders also have a right to request details about the licensing tariffs 
charged by collecting societies for use of their works. The tariffs must be 
negotiated in "good faith" and the licensing terms must be "based on objective 
criteria, in particular in relation to tariffs."

The Commission's proposals also include new plans that seek to ensure that 
collecting societies that licence the use of music on a pan-EU basis have the 
"capacity" to do so.

The collecting societies would have to be able to "process electronically, in 
an efficient and transparent manner, the data needed for the administration of 
such licences, including for identifying the repertoire and monitoring its use, 
invoicing users, collecting rights revenue and distributing amounts due to 
rights holders," according to the draft Directive.

Among the minimum requirements would be that collecting societies could 
"accurately identify the musical works" they are "authorised to represent", 
identify the different rights and rights holders within each EU member state 
and have "the ability to identify and resolve in a timely and effective manner 
inconsistencies in data held by other collecting societies granting 
multi-territorial licences in online rights in musical works."

The collecting societies would have to "monitor the use of online rights in 
musical works" by "online music service providers" that it grants a 
multi-territorial licence to, ensure accurate invoicing and distribute amounts 
owed to rights holders "accurately and without delay after the actual use of 
the work is reported, except where any further delay is attributable to the 
online music service provider."

The Commission said changes to the laws governing collecting societies are 

"Some collecting societies struggle to adapt to the requirements of the 
management of rights for online use of musical works, in particular in a 
cross-border context," it said in a statement. "As a result of today’s 
proposal, those collecting societies willing to engage in the multi-territorial 
licensing of their repertoire would therefore have to comply with European 
standards. This would make it easier for service providers to obtain the 
necessary licences for music to be distributed online across the EU and to 
ensure that revenue is correctly collected and fairly distributed to composers 
and lyricists."

"More generally, collecting societies operating in all sectors would have to 
comply with new European standards providing for improved governance and 
greater transparency in the conduct of their activities. The need for a change 
of certain practices was highlighted by recent cases where royalties collected 
on behalf of rights holders were lost due to poor investment policies, but also 
by evidence of long-delayed payments of royalties to rights holders," the 
Commission said.

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Michel Barnier said: "More efficient 
collecting societies would make it easier for service providers to roll out new 
services available across borders – something that serves both European 
consumers and cultural diversity."

"All collecting societies should ensure that creators are rewarded more quickly 
for their work and must operate with full transparency. This is paramount to 
sustaining investment in creativity and innovation which will in turn lead to 
additional growth and increased competitiveness," he added.



Listeninformationen unter http://www.inetbib.de.