German collection society GEMA has formed a coalition of eight European authors' associations in a bid to harmonize administration rights in Europe.

The seven authors' associations who have partnered with GEMA and signed the letter for "Harmonization of the regulatory framework for collective rights management," include Austria's AKM and AUME societies, Denmark's KODA, Iceland's STEF, Sweden's STIM, Norway's TONO and Hungary's Artisjus Ungarn.

"In association with seven of our fellow organizations, we are calling for a uniform EU guideline that gives smaller copyright collecting societies in particular the legal security that is urgently required to safeguard cultural diversity in Europe," said Dr. Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA, at his opening address of the German joint stand - comprising GEMA and the German Music Publishers' Association (DMV) - at MIDEM.

"The individual collection societies do not want to be crushed by the rapidly changing European information and music market," he went on to say, adding "a uniform framework for collectively representing rights [is] urgently required."

Heker continued: "The community rules currently in force do not provide for the collective representation of rights across the European Economic Region. As a result, there are differences in the legislation and the way in which it is put into practice in the individual member countries."

"A single European market for goods and services which does not have a common legal basis for the grant of copyrights, will be severely impeded," he went on to say, citing digital as a European business sector that could be greatly aided by harmonizing exploitation rights.

GEMA, one of the world's biggest authors' societies for musical works, represents the intellectual property rights of more than 60,000 members in Germany as well as over 1 million rights holders around the world.