The European Commission is looking into ways of helping stimulate the sales of online music from Europe-based providers.
The Commission believes that EU providers are disadvantaged because of the high costs of securing copyright in the 25 member states, and is considering whether it can introduce a pan-European copyright licence for online music providers.
Providers currently spend an average of £300,000 per song to acquire licences for all 25 states. This makes break-even achievable after the sale of around 4.7 million songs.
The Commission estimates that European sales last year were £16m compared with £129m in the US. This month it is discussing the issue with providers and is expected to deliver draft proposals in October.
Salman Momen, director of media technology at Capgemini, said: "An EC copyright directive could lead to consolidation in the rights and collection societies in each member country bringing efficiencies from the current method of collection.
"However, collection societies and music industry culture might oppose consolidation bearing in mind the implications of redundancies and cross-border practices and language issues."
He also believes that harmonisation will required standardisation in contract and performing rights systems.
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