European Antitrust Ruling Allows Collecting Societies To Operate Across Borders
According to a European Commission antitrust ruling, European composers and songwriters will have greater freedom in selecting which collecting societies manage their rights. Complaints about territorial restrictions from Music Choice sparked the landmark case.
The ruling limits the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers from requiring that authors sign up only with their local organization, essentially allowing collecting societies to freely “cross borders.” They will now be free to choose any collector, which the commission hopes will prompt greater competition on service quality, collection efficiency and management fees.
The commission also ruled against territorial restrictions that prevent a collecting society from offering licenses to commercial users outside their domestic territory. This opens the way for multi-national or pan-European music licensing for Internet, cable or satellite broadcasters. However, the societies retain the right to set local royalty payment levels.