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Music publishers pact for Euro licensing venture

Citing inefficiencies in the way payments are made to American and British copyright owners, the National Music Publishers’ Assn. and the U.K.’s Music Publishers’ Assn. have formed a joint venture, the European Music Rights Organization, as a pan-European licensing entity.

“This is a complex business that requires openness,” said NMPA prez/CEO Edward Murphy, “and we haven’t seen that openness in Europe.”

Copyright owners often run into problems collecting in Europe, Murphy said, due to a number of variables: commission being deducted by two European societies, slow through-payment to copyright owners, and insufficient representation of music publishers on many European societies’ boards.

EMRO will give copyright owners the choice of having one organization under their control administering their mechanical rights on a pan-European basis, separate from any extant Euro society. It will cover the EC and EFTA territories which will become the European Economic Area this year. It will be administered through the U.K.’s Mechanical Copyright Society.

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