Directive 2014/26/EU: Prep Work Begins in the UK

Copyright management is becoming a bigger issue by
the day, and the necessary regulation of collective management groups – as well
as protection of creators and third parties – is finally coming to a head.

The UK recognizes that Soundreef has been on the
right track for some time.

In February, 2014, the European Parliament approved
Directive 2014/26/EU, which regulates collective management of copyrights and
royalties, establishing that royalties collection societies follow certain
protocol in management, finance and transparency.

Just two months later, UK Copyright Regulations
came into enforcement, regulating copyright management, albeit more generally, and permitting discretionary application of the
laws
. The British Parliament, nonetheless, must adopt the Directive by
April 10, 2016, and must work to either integrate into the existing norm the
missing elements, or substitute it with the new Directive.

The British Intellectual Property Office has thus
called on Soundreef and other collective management organizations headquartered
in the UK to respond to a technical questionnaire whose objective is to have a
solid overview of the current copyright and royalties management situation and how
to proceed.

This comparative study of EU and UK law shows that
the EU Directive is truly a sea change for the European juridical landscape,
providing for ample guarantees for copyright holders and users.

Soundreef has certainly kept up with the times,
always meeting requirements from both the European Directive and UK regulations
as soon as they were established.

The Directive’s first innovation is the recognition
and consideration of both Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) and Independent
Management Entities (IMEs), and that
the former differs from the latter.

CMOs (e.g. SIAE) must apply all the requisites
making up the Directive, while IMEs (e.g. Soundreef) must fulfill certain of
the requirements only. It turns out that Soundreef is not only meeting all the
requirements intended for IMEs, but it is also meeting the majority of the
requirements attributed to CMOs.  

Specifically, independent bodies, CMOs and IMEs
must follow requirements regarding transparency,
and Soundreef, in line with such a mandate, makes the following detailed
information available to its artists as pertains to:

1. 
Creative
works;

2. 
Rights;

3. 
Amount
of royalties earnings in each rights category and type of use;

4. 
Dates
of use of each work; and

5. 
Royalties
earned not yet paid.

Soundreef also supplies the following information
to its copyright holders and copyright users:

1. 
Types
of works managed;

2. 
Types
of rights and countries covered;

3. 
Copyright
management method; and

4. 
Division
method and final distribution of royalties, depending on number of copyright
holders to each track.

Finally,
although Soundreef is not a CMO, it does follow the majority of the new
requisites that apply to CMOs, particularly when it comes to division and
distribution of royalties earned to copyright holders.