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There was a lot of press ballyhoo last week about a new licensing paradigm for the music industry on the Internet. The deal, hammered out by the International Federation of Phonographic Industry and the major record labels, is a simplification of how Europe in particular, deals with licensing music to be streamed from the Internet.

Instead of negotiating a separate deal for each country, multi-country deals will become much easier. Apple iTunes had to delay its launch in Europe, despite huge successes in the US, because of the complex licensing arrangements in Europe.

But this new deal won’t necessarily make this any easier, as that was about licensing music for download and store. This deal relates to licenses for streaming only, and is designed to promote internet radio to the levels it has taken off in the US. The IFPI speaks for 1,500 music companies in 76 countries and announced this deal in a statement posted on its web site.

The new webcasting agreement is going to signature this week among the rights collecting societies in 30 countries. A similar simulcasting deal, whereby music was simultaneously broadcast from multiple sites, was signed two years ago, and attracted 33 countries as signatures.

The IFPI statement said that there were 1,250 licensed services in the US, but only a handful in Europe and it feels this move should lead to an increase in European sites.

Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI, said: “It will be much easier for these companies to operate across borders, and we expect to see webcasting gain momentum as a result of this agreement.”

© Copyright 2003 Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of events that have happened each week in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here

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