“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.
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