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The interaction between copyright, neighbouring rights and international licensing procedures: The high-wire balancing act of rights management in the digital age - past, present and future of music licensing

The rapidly progressing digital transformation of the music market and an ever more complicated music licensing process is frustrating the user's demand for faster, easier and unlimited access to the entire world music repertoire, providing impetus for concern. This dissertation traces the development process of radio technology from analogue to online streaming services and examines the associated international laws, regulations, and respective licensing practices in order to understand the struggles online music services face when seeking cross-border licences for the online use of musical works. The aim is to find a suitable solution that guarantees sufficient international licensing of musical works and provides for easy access to the world music repertoire. The research focuses on the European Union and the United States of America as both have recently introduced legislation in order to improve online licensing of musical works. However, a special focus is on the development process of the European Directive on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights and Multi-Territorial Licensing of Rights in Musical Works for Online use in the Internal Market (CRM-Directive) as the first to introduce standards for the operation of rights managing entities and the general collective management of rights in musical works. One of the key findings is that collective rights management organisations are an important factor for enhancing a global online licensing regime but, due to their national regulation and operation, such a regime needs technical support to make international music licensing possible. Therefore, this dissertation examines the possibilities of an international licensing system that combines regulations from the European CRM-Directive and the American Music Modernization Act of 2018 with an interoperable database system for rights managing entities. This research argues for a harmonised global online licensing system that is detached from specific national copyright regulations and accompanied by an interoperable database system that allows for easy access to international licences while at the same time guaranteeing fair remuneration to all right holders. The main conclusion drawn is that in order to overcome the existing licensing controversies strong and consistent international rights management standards combined with database technology rather than legislation alone could provide for easier cross-border licensing and fair remuneration of right holders.
Type of thesis
Werner, J. (2020). The interaction between copyright, neighbouring rights and international rights management in the digital age: Past, present and future of music licensing (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/13886
The University of Waikato
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