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IFPI pledges support to TDC

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The international music lobby group IFPI has come out in support of Danish ISP TDC in litigation brought by the country's songwriters.

TDC's Play service bundles an all-you-can-eat music download service with an internet subscription, and it added streaming at the end of last year. Real numbers are hard to find, but Play is credited with slowing down unlicensed file sharing, encouraging interest in physical sales (which didn't collapse, and may have increased slightly), and reducing churn for the ISP. But TDC's license with Denmark's performance rights society KODA expired at the end of last month, and KODA took the telco to the country's copyright tribunal.

IFPI, which represents the global recording business, says KODA's royalty schedule is far higher than in other countries, which is why Spotify gave Denmark a miss.

"One of IFPI's most important tasks is, after all, to develop the market. So we cannot just remain a spectator, when someone attempts to make the development come to a halt - whoever it may be", said IFPI's Henrik Daldorph, who wants to intervene in the tribunal. More details via MusicDish, here.

Last year, KODA paid out over €50m to overseas performance rights societies and saw around €5m in return.

A surprising move? Not really. It may even be a sign of things returning to normal. Up until the 1960s, it was the publishers who were the power in the industry. Record labels were appendages of electronics companies or cottage operations.

Songwriters, composers and publishers have frequently clashed with record companies over royalties, and lawyers for each side racked up costs of eight figures in the UK when publishers clashed with the BPI over the share of digital copyright royalties. The Copyright Tribunal's decision in 2007 left things pretty much where they were. ®

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