Major step forward for internet licensing
IFPI simulcast system wins European Commission approval
October 8, 2002
The recording industry has made it much simpler for radio and television stations and other parties to get international licenses to transmit original terrestrial music programming over the internet, under a licensing programme that has received a major endorsement from the European Commission.
The Commission today sanctioned IFPI's 'simulcasting' system of reciprocal agreements, which allows broadcasters to obtain record producers' rights to transmit terrestrial programming simultaneously over the internet into numerous countries on the basis of a single, multi-territory license.
IFPI's simulcasting agreements presently cover 31 countries. Most of the world's major markets have already signed up to the simulcasting programme and others continue to join the system, which is intended to bring music licensing into line with the global nature of the internet. IFPI's proposal is the first such internet licensing system to receive European Commission approval.
The simulcasting system was developed in November 2000 by record producers' collecting societies and IFPI, the organisation representing the recording industry worldwide. Since the simulcasting agreement was developed, participating societies have already licensed several hundred broadcasters to simulcast their programmes over the internet.
In general terms, TV and radio broadcasters can apply for a single license from their local record producers' collecting society to cover simulcasting in all participating countries.
In the European Economic Area (EEA), IFPI and the participating record producers' collecting societies have agreed with the European Commission to allow EEA-based simulcasters to choose which EEA collecting society they obtain the license from. In addition, the EEA collecting societies will put forward proposals to separately identify the royalty paid to right holders and the service fee to the simulcaster.
Local record producers' societies across the EEA (the 15 EU states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) are party to the agreement, except for those in Spain and France.
In a statement today Mario Monti, Competition Commissioner said the creation of a legitimate market for simulcasting will benefit both consumers and right-holders by ensuring consumers can access their favourite programmes from all over the world, at the same time as ensuring that right-holders are properly paid.
Jay Berman, IFPI Chairman and CEO said: "We developed this system to help the legitimate market for simulcasting to develop and to make it easier for broadcasters to obtain licenses. It is an important step forward for the recording industry as it adapts its business to the internet and finds new ways of licensing music for consumers to enjoy. The agreement shows the recording industry is embracing the internet. We are pleased the Commission has endorsed the system."
Record producer collecting societies in the following 31 countries have signed the simulcasting agreement: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and Switzerland.
For further information contact Adrian Strain or Fiona Harley at IFPI on Tel: + 44(0)20 7878 7900