ARTICLE : COMPETITION LAW - COPYRIGHTS LAW - NEIGHBOURING RIGHTS - EUROPE-WIDE ON-LINE LICENSING SYSTEMS - TRANS-BORDER COPYRIGHTS MANAGEMENT - EUROPEAN COMMISSION - ON-LINE / OFF-LINE MUSIC LICENSING

The quest for pan-European copyright licensing solutions : A series of unfortunate events

Since its 1995 Green Paper, the European Commission has been anxious to foster Europe-wide on-line licensing systems for the trans-border management of copyright and related rights. This process, however, was by no means uneventful. Indeed, through the monitoring of various undertakings falling under the scope of art. 81 TCE, tumultuous relationships with the European Parliament leading to the publication of a Sibylline 2005 recommendation for on-line licensing, and the recent condemnation of the CISAC agreements for the management of on-line music rights, the European Commission, using competition law, dramatically changed the panorama of on-line - and potentially off-line - music licensing.

1. Copyright holders face four traditional alternatives to manage their rights : individual management, private for-profit management, voluntary collective management, and mandatory collective management. [1] The choice of one option over the others often depends of the nature of the right and of the transaction costs involved in negotiating a license. [2] For example, in accordance with its sporadic nature, the right to adapt a dramatic work will generally be negotiated on an individual basis by the author and the would-be film-maker. On the opposite side of the specter, the compensation offered by private copying levies is not negotiated, and is dealt with on a mandatory basis by copyright collective societies - for collective management is an efficient way to reduce transaction

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Adriane Porcin-Raux, The quest for pan-European copyright licensing solutions : A series of unfortunate events, décembre 2009, Concurrences N° 4-2009, Art. N° 29000, pp. 57-64

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