Wednesday 4 February 2015

Implementing the Collective Rights Management Directive: tell the UK government how!

The February 2015 issue of the UK Intellectual Property Office's IP Connect e-zine carries the following notice:
Consultation: Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive 
The Government has launched a consultation on proposals for the implementation of the Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive [click here for the Directive's context-setting webpage and here for the actual text].

This Directive aims to modernise and improve the functioning of Collective Management Organisations (CMOs) across the EU. It introduces minimum standards for European CMOs that are intended to enhance governance and transparency and put right holders at the centre of a decision-making. Additionally, it introduces criteria that CMOs wishing to engage in multi-territorial licensing of online music must comply with.

Implementation of this Directive into UK law must happen by April 2016. The Government will be consulting on two options, as well as the discretionary provisions in the Directive and the costs of implementation.

The CRM Directive is a move towards the completion of the digital single market. Its adoption fulfils several of the UK’s policy objectives for collective rights management specifically and copyright more generally. In particular, as one of only two net exporters of music in the EU, the UK stands to gain from the better transparency and governance of CMOs across the EU.

The IPO has already held workshops for all the main stakeholders affected by the Directive: CMOs, independent management entities (IMEs), rightholders and licensees. We are also talking to stakeholders about the need for further events during and after the consultation period.

The Government intends to publish a summary of the responses to the consultation and its response to those responses following the General Election in May 2015.

In the light of those responses it may need to amend the Impact Assessment and will then undertake a technical consultation on the draft Regulations which are required to implement the Directive. The implementing Regulations will be laid in time to ensure that the Directive’s provisions enter into force in the United Kingdom no later than 10 April 2016.

The deadline for comments is midday 30 March 2015. The consultation document and response form are both available on the website [Indeed they are. But if responses are sincerely wanted, why not give a link to the page that deals with the consultation, the 44-page consultation document and the email address to which comments can be sent,, rather than leaving it to the IP blogging community to do so?].
Having read the CRM Directive when it was first published, this blogger formed the opinion that it was very much aimed at a number of collective rights management organisations and countries in the Mediterranean sun-belt and that UK CMOs would have little trouble meeting the standards for transparency and answerability to their members. However, there are still some nuts and bolts to tighten before the mechanism for the supervision of CMO management is in perfect working order. It's good to be consulted, so do make the most of the opportunity.

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