EU seeks to ease licensing rules that blocks Apple’s iTunes, other online music stores

“The European Union proposed changes to ease licensing rules that prevent Internet music stores, including Apple Inc.’s iTunes, from selling digital music across the 27-nation bloc,” Aoife White reports for Bloomberg.

“Royalty-collection societies could be forced under the draft rules to transfer their revenue-gathering activities to rivals if they lack the technical capacity to license music to Internet services in multiple countries,” White reports. “Music copyright licenses are granted on a national basis in the EU so consumers can only download music from an iTunes store in their home country. The EU has sought to promote pan-European licensing for years, and the commission issued an antitrust decision in 2008 against national agencies that collect royalties on behalf of artists.”

White reports, “Under current rules, European consumers ‘have less access to innovative services,’ EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said today. ‘It’s not surprising that young consumers look elsewhere than the legal’ online music stores… Apple rolled out iTunes stores in Poland, Hungary and 10 other European countries last year, seven years since arriving in Germany, the U.K. and France. Obtaining licensing rights from publishers and royalty-collecting societies was an obstacle to opening stores in all EU nations, it said in 2009.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Better a decade late than never.

MacDailyNews Note: Currently, Apple’s iTunes Store is the only online music store available in all 27 EU member states.

Related articles:
Apple looks to begin selling iTunes Store music across 27-nation European Union – May 26, 2009
EU Competition Commissioner warns online music stores: change or be changed – September 19, 2008
Apple CEO Steve Jobs attends EU online retailing meeting – September 18, 2008
European musicians oppose pan-EU online licensing – July 03, 2008
EU official wants to extend copyright levies on iPods, other storage mediums; 95 year copyright – February 14, 2008
Apple faces hurdles in bringing iTunes Movie Rentals to Europe – January 21, 2008
Apple to standardize iTunes Store music prices throughout Europe; EU kills antitrust case – January 09, 2008
Apple CEO Steve Jobs reiterates commitment to pan-Euro iTunes pricing – September 19, 2007
EU says Apple yet to respond to antitrust charges in iTunes pricing inquiry – June 01, 2007
EU antitrust probe of Apple iTunes Store pricing could open global market for digital music – April 04, 2007
EU says music labels force Apple to limit iTunes Store access – April 03, 2007
Apple, music labels face European Commission antitrust probe – April 02, 2007


  1. About time, maybe I won’t need multiple iTunes Id’s as well. I’m English living in France and can only get French tat through the French Store so I have to have a uk iTunes store to by stuff in English. I need the French I’d to get apps specific to France. Let’s hope they role this out from just music but also to movies and apps.. I know, baby steps….

    And if Apple don’t need to run multiple versions of it’s stores perhaps their prices will be more competitive. I don’t buy hardly any music from Apple as I get a better product, I.e. CD, from Amazon at a cheaper price, not my fault Amazon wants to sell it at a loss.

    It’s about time beaurocrats woke up and actually earned their money and gave consumers what they wanted, access to digital stuff rather than resort to downloading illegal copies and bleat on about it.

  2. While not wanting to be cast in the role of word police, there were so many errors in your post that it is worth pointing out.

    UK, not uk; buy, not by; roll, not role; doesn’t, not don’t; its stores, not it’s stores; bureaucrats not beaurocrats

    For someone who claims to be English, your knowledge of the English language is atrocious.


    1. To P:

      Your first sentence about “not wanting” to serve as the word police is completely bogus. You weren’t “cast” in the role, but volunteered for it.

      ~ Signed,
      The logic police

  3. I wasn’t aware that the iTunes Store couldn’t sell music/movies throughout Europe. That may explain why the iPhone doesn’t sell as well in Europe as it does in the US or China.

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