Call to Simplify Cross-Platform Music Rights

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) have called for adoption of a rights clearance mechanism for musical works that is tailor-made to the broadcasting industry for their non-linear broadcast-like services, such as catch-up TV or radio podcasting.
The proposal is intended as a contribution to the European Commission’s work and draft legislation on Collective Rights Management which aim to simplify the clearance of musical rights for cross-border online usage.
EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre says, “Broadcasters need a music rights clearance mechanism that is simple, coherent and efficient. The key to this efficiency lies in collective licensing, and in the important role that collecting societies play in the digital era. A one-stop-shop approach that avoids fragmentation of rights is crucial for public broadcasters.”
GESAC Secretary General, Véronique Desbrosses, says, “Having been business partners for so long, public broadcasters and authors’ societies have a thorough understanding of each other’s needs. This commonly supported model is the result of our shared views on the best way to organize rights clearance in a manner that is efficient for broadcasters and respectful of rights holders’ interests.”
Today broadcasters must clear the rights for all pieces of music in their own programming used online, even if they have already been cleared for the original, linear broadcast.
According to the two bodies, a simplified mechanism should allow broadcasters to clear the rights, including for cross-border use of musical works, in both their linear and non-linear (broadcast-like) audio and audiovisual online services with the same authors’ society that has granted them the licence for their traditional broadcasting activities.
The EBU and GESAC say such a rights clearance mechanism should allow the world musical repertoire to be licensed to broadcasters via one-stop-shop licensing based on the voluntary reaggregation of rights in collective agreements under circumstances that reflect the specific needs of broadcasters.
They say the system would not only be beneficial for broadcasters, but also for rights holders which, in a voluntary model, would be offered equal access to the market and guaranteed protection of the value of copyright. The consumer will also benefit from the development of a wide array of new cross-border broadcast-like on-demand services.
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