Warner/Chappell Music has signed three separate deals at MIDEM for European collecting societies to grant pan-European licenses for digital uses.
The deals follow the publisher's announcement last year at this time that it was talking to collecting societies about the publisher's requirements for granting rights for such licenses.
Swedish society STIM, British society MCPS-PRS Alliance and German society GEMA will each have the non-exclusive right to grant pan-European digital licenses for the publisher's Anglo-America repertoire. The STIM agreement is the first pan-European licensing deal struck by any major publisher with the small Swedish society.
The three deals are just the first such agreements that Warner/Chappell expects to enter into under the publisher's Pan-European Digital Licensing (PEDL) initiative. As reported by Billboard.biz last year at MIDEM, this initiative involves the publisher 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.
As reported last year, the standards cover such things as formats that societies are willing to use to report information and royalties, and various requirements to ensure transparent accounting. In addition, the standards include a requirement that there be a termination provision in the agreements so that the publisher can pull rights from a society and transfer them to another one if its standards aren't met -- at least if the parties' efforts to cure any non-compliance are not productive.
The PEDL initiative will remain open for other collection societies to join at a later date.
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.
Jane Dyball, Warner/Chappell senior VP, international legal and business affairs, spearheaded the initiative. Also instrumental in the deals were GEMA CEO Harald Heker, MCPS-PRS Alliance chief executive Steve Porter and STIM CEO Kenth Muldin.