Sunday 22 January 2012

PM Monti opens the Italian market for neighbouring rights

Prof Monti explaining the reforms
included in the Decreto Liberalizzazioni
Here's some news from the Italian side of the world of collecting societies. 
On 20 January the new Italian government led by Prof Mario Monti passed a reform (known as "Decreto Liberalizzazioni", which is available in full here) aimed at boosting the Bel Paese's suffering economy, in particular by promoting the value of competition (our English-speaking readers may access details here). 
"The Italian economy has been held back for decades. More competition means more openness, more space for young people, less space for privileges and rent-seeking, more space for merit" said the Prime Minister.
Since his appointment in November 2011, Prof Monti has indeed made no secret of the fact that liberalisation of services is to be pursued wherever possible (you can read his interview with The Economist here).
Sectors involved in the liberalizzazione are - inter alia - taxis, pharmacies, local public transport, petrol stations, lawyers, MDs, dentists and ... the Italian collecting society SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori).
According to Article 39(2) of the Decreto Liberalizzazioni (the translation is mine),
Candidates for intermediary
positions are ready for interviews
"To favour the creation of new undertakings aimed at protecting the rights of artists, performers and executors, by enhancing competitive pluralism and allowing for a more economic-oriented management, as well as by favouring the actual involvement and control by rights owners, administration and intermediation activities relating to neighbouring rights, pursuant to the Italian Copyright Act - no matter how these are carried out - are free."
As some of our readers may remember, Article 180 of the Italian Copyright Act provided for intermediation activities in the field of neighbouring rights be carried out exclusively by SIAE.
It will be interesting to see, also in light of the recent ruling of the CJEU in Murphy (discussed in this Blog here and here and by the IPKat here), how things develop further, now that the Italian market for neighbouring rights seems open to competition by Italian and foreign intermediaries alike.

1 comment:

john walker said...

According to Wikipedia
Europe has more than 100 collecting 'societies' , it could take some time to achieve a liberalised free market .