Re-Constructing Intellectual Property Law in a Knowledge Society
Edited by Thomas Riis
Chapter 4: Emerging models for cross-border online licensing
Since the early 2000s when players outside the traditional music ecosystem started to commercialise new forms of digital distribution, the consumption of creative content has rapidly shifted over to Internet-based services. In response to consumers’ demand for modern and more convenient forms of consuming entertainment – all enabled by faster Internet connections – digital service providers like Spotify, YouTube or SoundCloud have made interactive on-demand streaming the main form of music consumption via the Internet. In Denmark, a recent assessment showed that streaming accounted for as much as 58.5% of all revenues from recorded music, and in Norway the figure was 77%. Concurrently, the traditional picture of national exploitation of copyright has changed. The licensing of novel uses of copyright-protected materials from right holders and their organisations has been described as anything but smooth. It appears that traditional licensing mechanisms and arrangements have not always been able to facilitate right-clearance in the changed environment. In the previous chapter, various aspects of the collective management of copyright were examined, including the traditional rationale of reducing transaction costs of collective management organisations (CMOs). In the digital world, some of these economic rationales for collective administration have been questioned. New licensing arrangements and entities have emerged: sometimes influenced or accompanied by regulatory action and sometimes not. In the EU, restrictions that prevent multi-territorial licensing (which means the licensing of music that covers more than one jurisdictional territory at a time) are a focal point for policymakers and scholars.
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