EU’s Proposal in Collective Licensing Draws Fire

(sub. req.): Universal Music Group has complained to the European Commission alleging that the main European collecting and performance societies have colluded to inflate charges for music downloads…this is in response to EC’s efforts for a pan-European licensing system for digital music distribution.

The UMG complaint alleges the development of online and music services “is being restricted and distorted” by the societies…it says that collecting societies are charging at least 12 per cent of the retail price of online music downloads and mobile ringtones. Royalties on compact disc sales are typically 8-9 per cent of the distributor’s price.

Macworld: meanwhile, the EC will publish its proposals for the pan-European licensing system this week, but has elected to issue recommendation, rather than law, in face of criticism. “We have a problem with the lack of far-reaching reform of collective rights management,” said Wes Himes, director of the European Digital Media Association (EDIMA). EDIMA’s members include, Apple, MovieSystem, RealNetworks and Internet service providers like Wanadoo, Yahoo and Tiscali.

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