EBU and GESAC call for new rights clearance mechanism

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) have called for a rights clearance mechanism covering musical content within non-linear broadcast-like services. The proposal is intended to assist the European Commission's work and draft legislation on Collective Rights Management, which aims to simplify the clearance of musical rights for cross-border online usage.

"Broadcasters need a music rights clearance mechanism that is simple, coherent and efficient," said EBU director general Ingrid Deltenre. "The key to this efficiency lies in collective licensing, and in the important role that collecting societies play in the digital era. A one-stop-shop approach that avoids fragmentation of rights is crucial for public broadcasters."

GESAC Secretary General, Véronique Desbrosses added, "having been business partners for so long, public broadcasters and authors' societies have a thorough understanding of each other's needs. This commonly supported model is the result of our shared views on the best way to organize rights clearance in a manner that is efficient for broadcasters and respectful of rights holders' interests."

At present, broadcasters must clear rights for all pieces of music in their own programming distributed online, even if they have already been cleared for the original, linear broadcast. A simplified mechanism should allow broadcasters to clear the rights, including cross-border use of musical works, in both their linear and nonlinear audio and audiovisual online services with the same authors' society that has granted them the licence for their traditional broadcasting activities.