In a recent ruling, the European Commission demands that copyright collecting societies (CCS) in Europe ends restrictions preventing composers and songwriters in one country from joining collecting societies in another (the CISAC decisions). The decisions also demands to stop restrictions preventing companies in one country to clear copyrights via the collecting society in another country. The CISAC case brings to the forefront the issues that have always been in contention for a while, that is the operation of competition principles upon their normal trading function of CCSs. The collective management of copyright has always been seen a way to eliminate any perceived form of inefficiencies that may accompany rights holders managing their rights on an individual basis. As technology continues to improve and copyrights usage becomes more troublesome to track, especially in the music and other online content distribution channels, the collective management of rights by collecting societies is crucial. The new channels of distribution however, brought some headaches, since rights holders are normally restricted to a copyright collecting society in their territory and at the same time CCS have gain substantial market power thus restricting the amount of competitors which leads to abuse of such market power. This article is thus about the reform of Article 82 and the operation of competition norms upon the normal trading functions of copyright collecting societies and addresses the problems associated with such trading functions.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/p_sean_morris/16/