In order to develop digital content services it is necessary to clear the rights of the content to be distributed. This can be a very cumbersome task. Digital technologies offer new opportunities for an efficient exchange of information concerning right owners, the required rights, licensees as well as the relevant uses.
A common music rights management infrastructure could help to identify which entity – whether a music publisher, a collection society or other institution – is in the position to allow for the successful granting of the requisite licenses for the exploitation of a specific song. For online platforms, it would be easier to reconcile royalty invoices. For the collecting society, it would be easier to identify the requested work in its repertoire or to determine which other society owns it. A common infrastructure would reduce time spent resolving disputes between users and licensors as well as amongst licensors arising from data discrepancies.
The development of an infrastructure for the management of music copyrights would be largely in the competence of the Member States. However, it would both benefit Member States and regions on several levels: national and regional creative content would be more easily accessible since both identification costs and transactional costs would be reduced. The competitiveness of national and regional creative industries would be improved. Although cross-border demand for national and regional creative content may be limited, international platforms for music and films often include national and regional content in their offers in order to make them more attractive to national and regional audiences. Also, it should be noted that one in five EU citizens is interested in receiving content from other EU countries when at home.
This area of activity can be an important element of a digital strategy. It might, however, not be eligible for funding through ESIF.