The Commission proposed in July 2012 a Directive which contains general provisions on collective rights management for all sectors, and specific provisions for multi-territorial licensing of online music.
Looking at the current state of the digital music market, although it is growing steadily, consumers still generally do not have broad access to different repertoires. There is still only one service provider active in all EU Member States (MS). And prospective new multi-territorial service providers continue to face a maze of licences and collecting societies in each MS. At the same time, there is a lack of transparency and of timely and appropriate remuneration schemes for rightholders.
EU institutions have tried to tackle these issues in recent years, in particular in the Commission’s 2005 communication and the 2008 CISAC decision which dealt with multi-territorial licensing.
The appropriate level or kind of competition amongst collecting societies which would maintain cultural diversity while providing fair and reasonable conditions for rightholders and users remains much disputed.
While not foreseeing a single entity, the proposal aims to foster competition amongst different entities for multi-territorial licensing.
Several stakeholders have expressed support for the proposal, but it has also been criticised.