A joint-appeal by European music, media and associated businesses for a one-stop-shop to handle digital licensing was questioned Tuesday (June 20) by collective licensing and consumer groups.

A joint-appeal by European music, media and associated businesses for a one-stop-shop to handle digital licensing was questioned Tuesday (June 20) by collective licensing and consumer groups.

As expected, associations representing Europe's performing artists, radio, cable, commercial television, IT, and catering jointly called today for European Union action to establish open and efficient copyright mechanisms, that are technologically neutral.

The appeal, however, was criticized for sidelining the European authors' rights societies body GESAC and the European consumer lobby BEUC.

GESAC said calls to overhaul collective rights were misplaced. "Collective management is a system that works for those concerned, the authors; and others besides," GESAC said in a statement. "The authors and composers are treated on an equal footing whatever their nationality or number of records sold. They receive fair remuneration for their work. The users -- radio stations, online music providers -- can obtain the rights to an artist's world wide repertoire on one or more given territories by talking to just one authors' society thanks to the agreements on reciprocal representation that unite the royalty managers."

The lobbies calling for reforms to copyright management say the current rules were unable to cope with technological changes, in particular on-line music and movie licensing.

The seven lobbies involved are the European Radio Assn. (AER), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Assn. of Commercial Television (ACT), the European Cable Communications Assn. (ECCA), the European Information and Communications Technology and Consumer Electronics Industries Assn. (EICTA), Hotels, Restaurants, and Cafes in Europe (HOTREC), and the Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe (PEARLE).