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European agreement simplifies online music rights for public broadcasters

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and music copyright bodies have reached an agreement they say will simplify music rights management in digital environments. 

The EBU, the European Composers and Songwriters Alliance (ECSA), the ICMP Global Voice of Music Publishing and the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) have agreed on principles that will encourage the aggregation of rights for licensing certain broadcast-related online activities across borders.

Their recommendations establish common principles they say strike a balance between the stakeholders’ interests and those of public service broadcasters. They say this will simplify the basis of licencing musical works within the European Union for “broadcast-related online activities” – additional online content related to their regular broadcasting services. 

As well as promoting a voluntary re-aggregation of rights, the recommendation also promotes high levels of transparency for authors, composers and publishers, fair compensation and efficient, modern and non-discriminatory administration arrangements.

Ms Ingrid Deltenre, Director General of the EBU, says that when audiences go online they expect to find regular public service media programs via catch-up or streaming services as well as related content.

“This recommendation is an important step in the right direction because it will help streamline licensing solutions as public service media must meet these expectations effectively,” she says. “Easy access to music rights for use in online programmes gives our members an additional tool to make the most of the opportunities offered by the multi-platform environment.”