Hundreds of music business executives visited the BMI-Horizon Cyber Café during the Industry’s Annual International Convention, MIDEM 2000, taking place the week of January 26 in Cannes, France. BMI provided this service, allowing business people to get e-mail and stay in touch with their home offices, as part of the convention theme ‘Music and the Internet.’
Chief executives of seven CISAC societies spoke at a MIDEM panel on new forms of partnerships in international rights administration. BMI President & CEO Frances Preston gave delegates an overview of the ProroNet plan to link performing rights society databases via the Internet. Pictured after their panel discussion at the Majestic Hotel are (from left) Eduardo Bautista (SGAE [Spain]), Jurgen Becker (GEMA [Germany]), Cees Vervoord (Buma/Stemra [Netherlands]), Frances Preston (BMI [USA]), Jean-Loup Tournier (SACEM [France]), moderator Phil Hardy (Music & Copyright [UK]), Gunnar Petri (STIM [Sweden]) and John Hutchinson (MCPS/PRS Alliance [UK]).
In a related story, BMI also announced 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 BMI’s Frances W. Preston. “It puts in place a much-needed building block as the industry adapts to a global, digital music business.”