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Music traders prepare for EC face-off

CISAC fails to see reason in EC investigation

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Music royalty traders being investigated by EC anti-trust authorities said they fail to understand why the European Commission had launched proceedings against them, and hope to reach an agreement without resorting to the law courts.

The EC and the Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), which manages the sale of broadcast copyright licences through a network of societies, have spent the last two years trying to agree how licences for the broadcast of music over the internet, satellite and cable should be sold.

It now appears that a legal ruling may be the only way for the two parties to reach a compromise. The EC backed up its claim that CISAC unlawfully restricts the sale of copyright licenses by launching proceedings against the confederation.

The EC position is nothing new to CISAC, but legal director David Uwemedino said he would seek clarification of the officials' complaints.

He insisted model contracts CISAC gave to associated national copyright traders had already been changed in 1996 to deal with one of the issues raised by the EC.

But the issue of "territoriality was something on which it simply disagreed with the EC, which would rather call it the use of unfair territorial restrictions".

CISAC's statement said a compromise should still be reached. There was already an ongoing debate that resulted in regular adaptation of their licensing framework, it said. ®

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