September 25, 2000

Internet Bilateral Licenses

Press Release

Santiago de Chile, September 25, 2000 – Five leading copyright societies today signed a series of separate bilateral agreements designed to dramatically simplify the licensing the public performance of music to be used online. BMI (USA), BUMA (Holland), GEMA(Germany), PRS(United Kingdom), and SACEM(France), representing a clear majority of the active international repertoire, have entered into agreements that authorize each other to grant licenses for online music use on a worldwide basis.
“The parties recognize that one transmission of music over the Internet may result in performances in multiple countries,” said the organizations in a joint communique from Santiago, where they had gathered for the CISAC World Congress. “It is clear that online music users do not want to enter into license agreements with each performing right organization in the various countries where their musical works may be performed online.”
“We realize that the extensive use of copyrighted music is not limited to territorial boundaries in the online world. We hope that others will agree that this is a necessary step to assure the legal performance of music online, and that many other societies will enter into such agreements.”
The agreements cover webcasting, streaming, online music on demand, as well as music included in video (TV, motion pictures, etc.) transmitted online. They provide for a mechanism to assure proper distribution of license fees to authors, composers and music publishers on a worldwide basis. The agreements, which amend existing reciprocal representation agreements, are effective immediately and extend through December 31, 2001.