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EMI drives license pact

Label signs Euro online music agreement

The first steps toward a pan-European one-stop shop for the licensing of online music rights have been announced by EMI Music Publishing and two of Europe’s largest collecting societies.

EMI has signed an agreement whereby the U.K.’s MCPS-PRS Alliance and Germany’s GEMA will implement a system to clear the rights of EMI’s Anglo-American songs across Europe for online and mobile usage. Groundbreaking move will allow businesses to obtain a single unified license for EMI repertoire for the whole of Europe; existing systems require businesses to obtain contracts on a territory-by-territory and society-by-society basis.

Deal comes on the heels of the European Commission’s October decision to allow such collaboration in its recommendation on the future of online licensing in Europe.

Commission believes a pan-European approach will speed up development of legitimate online services. Having all of EMI’s Anglo-American songs available in one place for licensing represents a significant first step towards truly pan-Euro licensing.

Adam Singer, chief exec of MCPS-PRS Alliance said: “In online, no one can hear your borders. EMI Music Publishing’s repertoire includes some of the most important music in the world, and online licensing of it just got easier.”

Deal with EMI covers songs composed and written in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile, MCPS-PRS alliance has also inked a deal with Spanish collecting society SGAE on a joint venture project called eLOS, which could act as a model for the licensing of online music services in Europe.

The two parties have entered into the partnership because the EC’s ruling allowing rights holders to choose from which European society they want to license their rights will likely mean that those rights holders will favor the most efficient society, with the lowest admin rate and the speediest royalty distribution system.

As a result, MCPS-PRS and SGAE are testing various joint licensing platforms and propositions for Anglo-Latin repertoire across Europe in an effort to secure more business.

SGAE prexy Eduardo Bautista said: “After studying the impact of technology over the past five years, we think we are on the right track, betting on the convergence of business and technology in a multilateral environment.”

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