French and Spanish authors' rights societies are forming a joint venture to offer pan-European publishing licenses to digital and mobile services. SACEM president/CEO Bernard Miyet and SGAE chairman Eduardo Bautista announced their plans today (Jan. 22) at MIDEM, saying that Italy's SIAE is expected to join the venture soon.

The societies reached an agreement in order to establish one-stop, pan-European licensing of online and mobile digital rights for their combined repertoires; streamline their operations; and join their IT capabilities. The aim is to be able to license the rights of these three major repertoires under a single license in Europe for online and mobile digital uses.

As part of the deal, SACEM and SGAE are working together to develop a system design for the identification of the works of the concerned repertoire used in the music services, capable of identifying the original society of each musical work. They are also building a Web site to include information on the agreement and showing all the works that would be covered by the pan-European license.

The new organization wants to work in cooperation with the other European collecting societies in order to improve the protection of the rightholders and provide users with practical licensing arrangements.

This joint venture is also open to offer the benefit of this new framework to other collecting societies or individual right-holders.

The move follows the formation of a joint venture last year by EMI Music Publishing, the U.K.'s MCPS-PRS Alliance and GEMA to offer one-stop shopping for pan-European, digital or mobile licenses for EMI's Anglo-American repertoire. This venture launched its licensing service, CELAS, this month.