EU Parliament Passes Directive On Collective Rights Management, Pan-EU Licences 04/02/2014 by Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch 5 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)With 640 of 680 votes, the European Parliament today passed a new directive on “collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market.” Rarely before has the usually controversial subject of copyright rallied such broad agreement in Parliament. Support came from colleagues as far apart as Swedish Pirate Party representative Christian Engstroem and conservative British members of Parliament, lead Rapporteur Marielle Gallo (European People’s Party) said in a press conference after the vote. “It shows that copyright is not the enemy of the digital age,” she added. “It shows that copyright is not the enemy of the digital age” – Rapporteur Marielle Gallo The new directive (available here, with amendments), according to Gallo, will allow for example “a Lithuanian singer to choose what collective management organisation he wants to hand over his repertoire.” Choice for artists will bring competition between the organisations some of which had at times – as Engstroem (Green Party Group) said during the debate – behaved in criminal ways. “We have hope that this directive will tidy things up,” he said. The directive also includes clear deadlines for distribution of fees, “as soon as possible and not later than nine month after the end of the fiscal year,” a spokesperson for Gallo confirmed. Applauded by many members of the Parliament was that collective management organisations have to open up for alternative licences, like Creative Commons. Especially for young artists, using non-commercial licences might be beneficial, Austrian S&D MEP Josef Weidenholzer said during the debate. Other aspects of “good governance,” which Gallo said form the first part of the directive, include better transparency, accountability to the member artists and direct involvement of the latter. Hailing the European Digital Market Another important step taken by the directive is the push for multi-territorial licences. “Instead of having to ask all collective rights agencies,” Gallo explained, of which there are 250 in Europe, “we will have six, seven or eight where a pan-European licence can be issued.” Karim Saijad from the Eurosceptical Conservatives and Reformists party applauded the notion that the directive might nurture an EU online platform and technology companies in Europe, and allow them to compete with their US counterparts by “removing barriers to online music services.” Despite such broad agreement there were also some critical comments, namely from the rapporteur of the Committee on International Trade, Helmut Scholz (Left Party Group). Scholz warned the text allowed member states to decide if they oblige third country platform operators to follow the rules. “This could be an open door for foreign direct distributors,” Scholz criticised. Many members of Parliament finally also were highly critical about the slow pace of copyright reform in general. “What we don’t have still is a big step in copyright reform,” Petra Kammerevert said. “We wanted to see more commitment from the Commission.” She called it completely unacceptable that, after four years, the Commission in December started a rushed consultation only in English. The Commission had just extended the deadline for comments for that consultation for another month. Reform of the Copyright Directive Next Year? The new consultation shall feed into a white paper to be tabled by his directorate next June, said Michel Barnier, Commissioner for the Internal Market. The next step, he said, would be a review of the 2001 Copyright Directive. That will bring much more discussion over the adaption of copyright to the information society. More on the open consultation here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Monika Ermert may be reached at email@example.com."EU Parliament Passes Directive On Collective Rights Management, Pan-EU Licences" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.