The European Commission is advocating a new law on collecting copyright fees. The EC confirmed today (April 19) that it has launched a consultation exercise to determine the effects of standardizing E

The European Commission is advocating a new law on collecting copyright fees. The EC confirmed today (April 19) that it has launched a consultation exercise to determine the effects of standardizing European legislation for rights management.

The consultation will look at whether EU legislation could be used to supervise rights societies in individual countries, and whether a single EU copyright license could be developed.

In the past, record companies have voiced frustration at the inefficient process through which they have to register for different licenses in each of the EU's 15 countries.

"Community legislation on the collective management of rights, and particularly on the governance of collecting societies, would be highly desirable," says the EC in a statement.

The Commission's paper is based on a preliminary study that found that copyright exploitation accounts for more than 5.3% of the EU's gross domestic product. The paper argues that collective rights management will be more firmly established if a legal framework on collecting societies is implemented at EU level.