The European Commission is proposing legislation which would make it easier to license digital music across the entire Eropean Union.
The commission is looking to offer a uniform procedure which would allow music download services to ink a single agreement which would allow them to distribute music in every EU member state.
Currently, digital marketplaces such as iTunes and Amazon must license digital content differently for each country in the EU. The new legislation hopes to change that by allowing digital marketplaces to uniformly license content across the whole of the Union.
"More efficient collecting societies would make it easier for service providers to roll out new services available across borders - something that serves both European consumers and cultural diversity," said EU commissioner for internal market and services Michel Barnier.
"More generally, all collecting societies should ensure that creators are rewarded more quickly for their work and must operate with full transparency. This is paramount to sustaining investment in creativity and innovation which will in turn lead to additional growth and increased competitiveness."
Under the planned legislation, royalty-collection societies would be forced to put systems in place that allow for pan-European music licensing. If collection societies were unable to put in place those systems they would be forced to transfer their business to a competitor who can.
Collection societies would further be required to be more transparent with artists about the type of royalties they receive from their work. The new rules would require collection societies to pay content creators faster and more efficiently.
EC officials have been attempting to create pan-European licensing agreements for years. The European Union began revamping music copyright law in 2008.
The iTunes marketplace hit the 10 billion worldwide downloads mark in 2010 and has steadily grown ever since.
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