Music 4.5: Collective Licensing - the debate

Event Info

Fri 29 Jun, 2012 from 2:00pm - 6:30pm
Lewis Silkin office
5 Chancery Lane
London, EC4A 1BL, UK (Map)
Cost: from £124+VAT (early bird rate for startups/artists)


Investigative debate no.2

We will continue our Collective Licensing debate, looking at the latest developments within the legal and technical areas and their implications on music-tech startups, artists, consumers and the industry. Nearly 15 years after Napster, the music industry still appears to favour models that resemble the simple linear value chains it used in the physical world. Collecting society licence models reflect this.

But the world is moving on.

Increasingly, the interests of particular rightsholders are falling out of synch. Music publishers have issues with collecting society business practices and have set up parallel structures in some instances in Europe. Collecting societies have started facing competition from their own members, and lately a number of collecting societies (and their executives) around the world have been accused of fraud...

Many urban Chinese consumers are becoming some of the most technically advanced users of music in the world, and Asia can no longer be written off as the insignificant backyard of a western dominated music industry either in terms of production or consumption. Will China adopt the non-profit collective management approach to music licensing?

Digital service providers are faced with licensing uncertainty and multiple royalty demands for the same works and transactions. The Global Repertoire Database is intended to provide a consolidated database of repertoire ownership, to facilitate transparent and more efficient licensing: will all the key players get on board? Will it solve the multiple invoice problem?

The absence of a consolidated database of repertoire ownership, transparent and efficient licensing, invoicing systems and mandated paths to grant licenses to music services is definitely hampering the efforts by European licensing bodies such as STIM, the PRS for Music, GEMA and SACEM. But is WIPO's International Music Registry a supporting or competing system with the European Competition Commission's Global Repertoire Database?

And how to engage the BRIC countries with a global registry as the major growth markets are generally free of the legacy licensing structures?

A major position statement from the European Commission on collective management is still awaited: can it deal with the consequences of the 2008 CISAC decision or will uncertainty and confusion persist in the European Market.

And the impact of all this on innovation in digital services and music-tech?


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