The European Union (EU) is to step into the morass of European music licensing with the aim of simplifying the process to aid the development of digital music services (DMS). The EU is set to unveil a plan for a pan-European licence that will streamline the process and will start with an open public consultation.

The European Commission studied the current setup which involves any prospective DMS having to sign separate agreements with a royalty collection agency in every country they want to open in. There are also restrictions on right holders across borders and agencies can’t work across borders either. This generated a second and more controversal proposal is to create a pan-European collection agency representing artists and right holders.

Both proposals have been well received so far and if they go ahead, could provide an interesting example for other types of copyright content and how they’re managed across borders.