Music to your ears: easier licensing will boost range of online music services 


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Marielle Gallo  

Music lovers could soon enjoy a wider range of tunes to access online thanks to an agreement with member states to issue online music providers with licences that apply across the EU. It was approved by the EP’s legal affairs committee on 26 November. The deal will make it easier for online music service providers to get licences and for musicians to get their royalties quicker. In July we talked to Marielle Gallo, a French member of the EPP group in charge of steering it through the EP.

Why is it important to harmonise the rules governing collecting societies at EU level? How would it work?

We are trying to achieve a single digital market and this is one of the steps to be taken in order to ensure equal access to culture for all European citizens through the collective management companies. We now have a truly fine-tuned regulatory system of transparency and governance.

Will this proposal make legal downloading easier and maybe cheaper? Will it influence how we listen to music online in different member states?

By making licensing for different countries easier for online music, the proposal will benefit everyone. New online services will be able to enter the market more easily to avoid letting iTunes corner all of the market. It’s also a way to encourage initiatives such as Spotify. The aim of the directive is a true digital single market that is able to broadcast the cultural goods.

The legal offering of online music will become very accessible for all European citizens. Becoming easier to access, the offer of legal music will also become cheaper.

How will the proposal benefit artists?

The main objective of the directive is to take care of artists. We made sure that their work is better compensated. They will also have total control over the collected rights for their accounts, over the management fees of the collecting societies, over investments and they will be at the heart of decision-making.

This interview was first published on 10 July 2013. It has now been republished with the permission of Marielle Gallo.