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BMI Announces International Internet Pacts

Posted in News on February 7, 2000
NEW YORK, February 1, 2000 - BMI®, the performing rights organization, announced today that at MIDEM it had reached a series of bilateral agreements with international copyright societies BUMA (The Netherlands), GEMA (Germany), PRS (United Kingdom) and SACEM (France) to license the public performance of music on the Internet. These new agreements allow worldwide licensing of the mutual repertoires of the contracting parties, overcoming the issues associated with territorial-based licensing.

The licenses will be granted by each society based on the territory indicated by a website's URL (e.g. ".fr" [for France] to be licensed by SACEM; ".com" or ".net" [for the United States] to be licensed by BMI; etc.), with sufficient safeguards to prevent efforts by web music providers to limit or evade copyright liability. It is expected that additional societies will execute Internet license agreements following the above societies.

"These agreements clear the way for rapid and efficient international licensing," said Frances W. Preston, BMI President and CEO. "It puts in place a much-needed building block as the industry adapts to a global, digital music business."