The IPKat has learnt that the MCPS is doing battle with the BPI, AOL, Apple iTunes, MusicNet, Napster, RealNetworks, Sony Connect and Yahoo and various mobile phone operators (02, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodaphone) over the terms of the Joint Online Licence (JOL). The BPI, the digital service providers and the phone operators are arguing that the MCPS should accept a lower percentage of the price paid by downloaders and are challenging the JOL before the copyright tribunal. Currently the rate is 12% but the BPI and the other applicants would like it reduced to 8%. The MCPS rejects this rate, saying that authors of musical works will lose out and the parity in reward between the online world and the physical world will be lost.

The IPKat says that this is a tough one. He’s broadly in favour of rewards that go (relatively) straight to the authors. The only justification he can see for reducing the royalty rate is if consumers get cheaper downloads as a result. Will this happen if the terms of the licence are varied he asks. What's clear though is that, considering the range of digital service providers and mobile phone operators involved, the outcome of the tribunal will have a profound effect on the online and mobile phone music industry in the UK.
BPI v MCPS BPI v MCPS Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, January 15, 2006 Rating: 5

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