France's Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM) has joined Warner/Chappell Music's pan-European digital licensing (PEDL) initiative.

As a result of the accord, unveiled today, the French Collection Rights Society is now authorized to offer pan-European digital licences in Warner/Chappell's Anglo-American repertoire.

News of Warner/Chappell's PEDL initiative broke during the Midem trade fair in 2007. The initiative involves the music publishing giant granting non-exclusive rights in its Anglo-American catalog to those collection societies that are willing to comply with a set of common standards intended to ensure the efficient, transparent management of rights as well as appropriate and accurate compensation for songwriters. Swedish society STIM, British society MCPS-PRS Alliance and German society GEMA all came on board with the PEDL initiative in January of this year.

In a joint statement announcing the latest development, Jane Dyball, senior VP, international legal and business affairs for Warner/Chappell Music, says the SACEM breakthrough "adds further momentum towards simplifying the process for content users licensing Warner/Chappell's catalog, whilst maintaining value for rights-holders and benefiting our song writers by encouraging digital usage of their works."

Bernard Miyet, CEO and chairman of the SACEM management board, noted, "By concluding this agreement with Warner/Chappell Music, SACEM proves once again its service to major rights owners and its ability to grant users access to a wide range of repertoire on a pan European basis."

Warner/Chappell launched its PEDL initiative to be in line with the European Commission's 2005 recommendation to change the way licenses for digital uses could be secured throughout the European Union. The PEDL initiative will remain open for other collection societies to join at a later date.

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