updated 01:25 pm EST, Fri January 21, 2011
World copyright pool to speed online music deals
Music labels including EMI and Universal said on Friday that they were working on an international copyright licensing base that would significantly accelerate the spread of online music. The consulting group Deloitte has been tasked with creating a global repertoire database that would show which individual or label owned the rights to a given song. A comprehensive library would let a music store, a show producer or others know who to reach to sell or license tracks.
Currently, fledgling stores or producers often have to talk to the label themselves and determine who has to be paid. The terms can be complex if an album or song has different labels worldwide or if it involves collaborations that require deals with multiple sources to get clearance.
The initiative was prompted by the European Commission but has the support of not just EMI and Universal but also Apple, Amazon and independent royalty collectors.
Companies will have access to the basic database in the near future, but full support may have to wait for the next 1.5 to two years.