“Yahoo Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and RealNetworks Inc. may obtain pan-European licenses to sell music over the Internet under European Union plans to regulate royalty collection companies, according to a EU draft proposal,” Matthew Newman reports for Bloomberg News.
“Online music sellers currently must negotiate separate license agreements in each of the 15 EU member states with companies that collect and distribute musicians’ royalty payments. That system harms the bloc’s competitiveness, the European Commission said in the draft,” Newman reports. “New rules may help Europe catch up with the U.S., where Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes Music Store’s online music service enabled users to legally download 50 million tracks last year. The European launch for iTunes has been delayed as Apple seeks license agreements across the EU, said Lucy Cronin, spokeswoman for the London-based European Digital Media Association, whose members include Amazon.com, RealNetworks Europe and Yahoo Europe.”
“‘Royalty collecting societies have hindered the takeoff of legitimate online music services,’ said Thomas Vinje, a lawyer at Clifford Chance LLP who has done work for Yahoo,” Newman reports.
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