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The Internet Media Music News

EU-wide Music Licensing Policies Published 136

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-more-or-less dept.
www-xenu-dot-net writes "To stimulate the online music business in Europe, EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy is recommending the elimination of territorial restrictions on the licensing and copyright enforcement of online music. Until now, so called licensing collection societies have enjoyed monopolies within their countries. (For online sales, the collecting societies typically charge 12 percent of the retail price today, compared to 9 percent on CDs.) EU Socialist Group leader Martin Schulz has called Mr McCreevy a "loose cannon whose arrogant opinions have provoked anti-EU feeling across Europe." That impression might not change with the new recommendation, as collecting societies in smaller European countries fear that they will lose out to larger rivals, potentially restricting the development of new music."
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EU-wide Music Licensing Policies Published

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  • by tolonuga (10369) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:24AM (#13780171)
    wow, two links that have nothing to do with the music.
    was this item submitted by some random topic generator?
  • by ReformedExCon (897248) <reformed.excon@gmail.com> on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:26AM (#13780172)
    I won't take the obvious route here and say "w00t! fr33 p1r4cY 4 411!"

    This is good policy, because if the EU is to be taken seriously as a single bloc trading partner, then it must present a standardized set of laws and regulations so that it isn't just a loosely bound bunch of states. By unifying the law under a single EU regulating entity, they effectively present themselves as one country.

    While this may hurt certain groups within the borders of the EU, the EU was never supposed to be about individual states or particular companies. It was meant to unify Europe into a large trading bloc that would rival the U.S. in trading and negotiating power.

    This is exactly what the EU should be doing.
    • This is good policy, because if the EU is to be taken seriously as a single bloc trading partner, then it must present a standardized set of laws and regulations so that it isn't just a loosely bound bunch of states. By unifying the law under a single EU regulating entity, they effectively present themselves as one country.

      This, I believe, has never been the intent of the "union". The intent was to create a trading community among neighbouring countries in Europe. A sort of friendship, really, to avoid f

      • by bobbo69 (905401)
        Perhaps it wasn't meant to be that way originally, but so what? Do you really think the vision of 50 years ago is useful now?

        Successive treaties, agreed by the Governments of the EU member states, have taken us in a new direction. If you disagree with this direction, talk to your MP or vote. It's called democracy.

        • Not, of course, that the EU/EC is any way constituted by a directly-elected representative body. So, yeah, if you don't like it, complain to your MP. How many Europeans actually like the EU these days anyway? Seems to me that in many key member states, a majority of citizens do not want to be part of the European Union as it currently is arranged. Their politicians, of course, do.

          It's called plutocracy.
          • by bobbo69 (905401)
            more Eurosceptic distortion: have you heard of the European Parliament? And who appoints the commission? Member States' Governments. And who has the final say? Council of Ministers, composed of Member States' Government Ministers.

            If you hate it so much why don't you do something about it and stand as an MEP?

            Democratic deficit my arse!

            • by DingerX (847589)
              ...which is exactly what I said. Direct democratic representation does not exist; the reasons, I suspect are along the lines of what some of the other responses are: "the people can't be trusted with the power to govern". The United States Senate used to work this way too: state legislatures would appoint the senators. And the senate got known as "The Millionaires' Club". Four kinds of power exist over politicians: A) Money B) Other politicians C) The vote D) Popular uprising (cf. 'Bury the system/smash the
              • It is fashionable to believe that democracy provides power to the citizens, it actualy does no such thing. What it does do is allow ideas to be fought over in the media and the resultant zeit geist pushes the voters pens at the polls.

                Elections are seldom about policies, theorys or ideas, they are about the evolutionary breeding properties of the party leader, whether that leader is hefting a big enough stick to repel outsiders from another tribe and whether that leaders attendance at the crop planting cerem
          • by mmjb (866586)
            I think the EU is headed towards a single state. Whilst that will probably not happen in my lifetime, it is surely a logical move and I personally believe Europe will be better off for it.

            In the meantime, the differences between member states on scores of issues and the frequency of changing (and changing back!) its rules provides EU citizens with a chaotic system within which we try to conduct our business. I've lived in 3 EU countries and the business/political framework doesn't seem to be making it any
          • by Anonymous Coward
            True, but most citizens also want a completely unrealistic set of goals - i.e. freedom to buy cheap goods from any EU member state (and indeed imports from China, USA) - while somehow having their jobs magically protected from the consequences of cheap goods (and indeed their public sector protected from the reduced tax income, etc, that is also a consequence of increased free trade).

            Along with the freedom to work anywhere else without having any immigrants - i.e. it's OK for British kids to go and have a s
        • If you disagree with this direction, talk to your MP or vote. It's called democracy.

          I was simply pointing out an error in the original comment. I'm not trying to fuel a pro/anti EU debate, though I can see now my chosen subject might make it appear that way.

          And for you information, I always vote.

          z
    • Bullshit!
      By destroying the internal rules that are well adapted to each local economy and presenting a carbon copy of the US lack of sane legislation as a "unified EU solution" you're giving away EU's collective ass to the US majors.
      No thanks!

      Unification? Yes, of course!
      Desintegration? No way!

      It was meant to unify Europe into a large trading bloc that would rival the U.S. in trading and negotiating power.
      Read your history books about Europe.
      Europe has never been meant as being a rival to the US.
      Europe was m
  • EU Politics (Score:1, Insightful)

    "loose cannon whose arrogant opinions have provoked anti-EU feeling across Europe."

    Is the rhetoric usually this colourful in Europe, or is the Socialist just a hipocritical loose cannon?
    • Re:EU Politics (Score:4, Insightful)

      by laurensv (601085) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:39AM (#13780210) Homepage
      No, Charlie McCreevy declared that the Scandinavian social model's collective bargaining offends EU rules on free movement of workers.
      I'm happy that EU commissioners that try to undermine the solidarity between workers get called out.
      • by Sulka (4250) <sulka@ik i . fi> on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:49AM (#13780366) Homepage Journal
        I'd be quite happy to get an EU-wide system though and I live in one of the countries you mentioned.

        In Finland, if a musician want to get royalties on their music, they have to join Teosto [teosto.fi]. After you join, you waive the right to protect your rights to the organization and thus loose control over your own music. For example, the organization requires artists pay the royalties on their own productions if they want to distribute them for free over then Internet.

        I have a couple friends who wanted to put MP3's of a couple songs that didn't make it to a CD to web to promote their new album but they couldn't do it since they would have had to pay Teosto for each download.

        Teosto is also incredibly protective of the format in which you've purchased your music and was integral part in getting the new Finnish copyright law through which makes converting protected CD's to MP3 illegal. For non-protected music, they even try to get people to purchase a license to convert old recordings - DJ's are expected to pay 800 EUR / year for the privilege of converting old vinyls to CD's so they could play them in new joints that don't have an old-style record player.

        And this is the organization which is supposed to protect the artist's rights! You don't get money if you don't join and if you do, they do a good job trying to protect you from yourself.

        With this kind of organizations in control, I'd be happy to get a Europe-wide agency as it can't get _any_ worse than it is now and at least I'd be more likely to get a good selection of music to the local iTunes store.
        • With this kind of organizations in control, I'd be happy to get a Europe-wide agency as it can't get _any_ worse than it is now and at least I'd be more likely to get a good selection of music to the local iTunes store.
          I would rather like to see all these organisations compete with each other in all EU countries. Didn't get a good deal from Teosto? Deal with the corresponing organisation i Slovakia instead.
        • With this kind of organizations in control, I'd be happy to get a Europe-wide agency as it can't get _any_ worse than it is now and at least I'd be more likely to get a good selection of music to the local iTunes store.

          One would hope so, but it seems that the EU's approach to unifying law across the EU is to take all the most pro-business, anti-consumer laws that the members currently have and apply them to the entire union. You can say the same for the WTO.
        • Holy crap. Teosto sounds totally evil. Charging musicians for the serice of royalty collection is one step short of extortion. Are you sure they aren't a front for the record labels? :-p

          Here in Canada, SOCAN handles performer's rights and they make no restrictions at all on what you do with your own music.. they collect royalties for radio play, soundtracks, etc. but you're totally free to distribute your own compositions as you see fit. And SOCAN membership is, if I recall correctly, free. Their only sourc
    • collecting societies in smaller European countries fear that they will lose out to larger rivals, potentially restricting the development of new music.

      Umm ... so artists will say "gosh, now that it's so simple for us to figure out how to set up pan-European licensing for our music, we're just going to have to stop making music"?? Where do these people get such wacky ideas?! Artists worldwide really need to start paying for their own, artist-focused lobby ... Too bad most of them are broke, and the ones wi
      • by Anonymous Coward
        As I understand it, the basis for such rhetoric is that the local collection agencies dole out grants to local projects. Since there is a separate agency in every country, there can be no doubt that the agencies have very different policies with respect to what kind of culture they support, and this would probably change if the number of collection agencies in EU was drastically reduced.

        I don't know much about the issue, but if you want to attack such rhetoric, the first thing would be to check how much th
        • You know, I didn't even think about this. Excellent point ... I wonder, however, if the bureaucracy involved in obtaining a grant offsets any gains created by it; also, one has to wonder how much of these licensing programs are set up to benefit large record labels above all others. Perhaps a much simpler, pan-European system that is a bit more fair would offer greater incentives for artists, even though a small minority would lose access to grants? Hmm.

          Needs more research before any real answer can be d
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:29AM (#13780180) Homepage Journal
    Don't worry, there's no way McCreevy is going to be re-elected...

    (Which, technically, is true)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Commissioners are sponsored by their respective governments. This is usually a reward for long service or a means to eliminate a potential leadership rival at home. The money is good, the perks and pensions are great.

      Charlie McCreevy is a typical Irish parish pump politician. He's pretty smart with money and gets a lot of the credit for reviving the Irish economy. He mouths off a lot, frequently without reflection. He doesn't care what people think and often tries to cut through red tape without undue sensi
  • by DavidNWelton (142216) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:29AM (#13780181) Homepage
    Italy's 'SIAE' group are a bunch of thieving bastards who do much to detriment musical culture in this country.

    It cost us something like 150 Euro in taxes just to have a duo play for a few hours at our wedding! To add insult to injury, because our wedding reception was in a different province, we *had to go to the office of these thieving bastards in that province* (open from like 10-12 on certain days) - we couldn't even pay their larcenous fees in our home town.

    The taxes are so high that young, aspiring musicians like my wife's brother, who certainly isn't in it for the money at this point in his life, has trouble finding places to play because it's just too expensive in terms of taxes for everyone concerned.

    Not only that, but these rats have successfully campaigned to tax the sale of blank CD's, "because they're all used for piracy anyway, right?".

    What a bunch of despicable individuals.

    Yes, I'm bitter and I just thought I'd get that off my chest.
    • by MooCows (718367) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:51AM (#13780241)
      Here in the Netherlands, all blank media is taxed over 100%.
      CD's which cost around E0,20 apiece without tax cost over E0,60 with tax.
      The organisation responsible (Buma-Stemra) also has the power to seize all untaxed blank media being sold and then fine the seller. It has recently been discovered they have also been illegally selling off the seized media.

      This organisation (given this 'privilege' by our government) brings in millions of euros each year, and nobody knows where exactly this money is going.
      The poor starving artists get paid, right?
      • Where I live (Spain) we have a quite similar scenario, unfortunately.
      • The BUMA is the Dutch equivalent of the RIAA. They're trying to be just as bad, only they haven't tried sueing people yet, AFAIK. In Holland it is legal to download pirated music for your own use, however, it is illegal to put music on a P2P network. This makes suing random people a bit more complicated.
        • Spain seems to have pirated Holland legislation in this case too: it is legal to download pirate music but illegal to share it. Then, is it or isn't it completely non sense?! (wrong legislation... by defective construction!)
      • So how about using the general method of buying goods withouty Bill/Receipt? That way it cant be (found out) taxed right? & the shop owner will only be happy to see more CD's with same profit.

        I know this is not a great new idea....just thought this is a simple bypass..

        • The Buma-Stemra folks hunt for shops and individuals selling untaxed blank media. They then fine them a rather large amount of cash and take their blank cd's/dvd's.

          Not many stores would take a risk like that just to earn more on blank CD's.

          The only existing bypass is because of stores selling from germany. Those CD's are imported into the Netherlands and clears the store from having to pay the copy-tax. I believe the Dutch customer has to pay instead, but that's much harder to track. There was a ruling on t
      • Have you considered ordering blank media from a neighbouring country, such as Germany? You can get blank CDs and the like on amazon.de, for example, and IIRC, while there is a similar "copyright" fee in Germany, it's only applied to blank media specifically intended for audio and labelled accordingly.

        In any case, you can get a spindle with 100 blank CDs [amazon.de] for about 20 EUR, for example (other offers may be even cheaper, but this was the first I saw when checking briefly). Considering it's inside the EU, it's p
    • You know, when people start to rise up and revolt, death often happends to the oppressors. Now I'm not encouraging this kind of activity, but I'm really surprised something violent and deadly hasn't happened yet!!
      • You know, when people start to rise up and revolt, death often happends to the oppressors.

        Actually most of the oppressing elite would go up into the new revolutionairy elite which then turns out to be different but as bad as the previous elite.

        I know, it is difficult to understand for young people, being idealistic and the like, but the world is a place in which `cynic realism' rules. Nonetheless, it is good to have ideals when young, just to keep them going in their adolescence period.

    • I know someone who organized a concert of Status Quo. He payed lots of money to the band, and *still* some organization wants to have a certain (high!) percentage of that money to 'pay the artists'. The stupid thing is that the artists were already payed, and the money goes to the Dutch music industry. That's stealing!

      When I read the title of this post I thought: "At least it can't get worse!". But I'm afraid I was wrong....
    • Fact about SIAE... (Score:5, Informative)

      by orzetto (545509) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:28AM (#13780323)

      Milena Gabanelli [report.rai.it]'s Report [report.rai.it] on Rai3 (one of those transmissions so good you wonder how much time before they get censored) once had 2 hours about SIAE [report.rai.it].

      Turned out, the tune getting the most money from SIAE in Italy is the background music of Onda Verde [radio.rai.it] (traffic condition broadcast) on radio. If you never heard any music at all, that's because it's so low you cannot hear it. But you are paying for it, of course.

      In Rome, there are some "musicians" who daily organise concerts where no one goes, only because they agree with SIAE that they are getting support for "cultural activities". It's basically your average white-collar mafia.

      As a lot of things in Italy, thieves with the right contacts pull the strings and get rich doing nothing useful for society. This is the Italian development model after all. If you wondered, no, serious musicians don't get a penny. The 99 Posse [novenove.it] said they never saw a penny coming from SIAE, even if they wrote a song,Curre curre guagliò, that is in the soundtrack of Gabriele Salvatores' Sud [imdb.com], that ran a few times on national TV. That might have to do with the fact that 99 are not exacly government-aligned.

      If you don't like the way it works, pack up and leave. Serious, I did and never looked back—it's a panacea for your liver. But I'll take a trip to Stockholm to vote for Tonino [tabasoft.it] anyway.

  • by nietsch (112711) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:29AM (#13780182) Homepage Journal
    This really must be the summum in desriptive slashdot news. Three factoids that do not resemble to be related to each other...

    Is this mister whatshisname a loose cannon because he wants to stimulate online music sales? how does that realte to the markup on the retailprice for online music?
    Or has is this guy being paid by the collection societies to say such things? Are they desparate not to loose their monopoly?
  • by kg4czo (516374) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:29AM (#13780184)
    I believe the actual article that this is supposed to be pointing at it here [eu.int].
  • by Sanity (1431) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:30AM (#13780185) Homepage Journal
    This is the guy who dismissed anti-patent campaigners as being anti-globalisation, anti-big business, and anti-American (he stopped short of "communist"), and who has refused [ffii.org] to challenge the European Patent Office's practice of granting software patents even though this is expressly prohibited by European law.

    I trust him about as far as a 3 year old child could throw him.

  • by warmcat (3545) * on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:33AM (#13780190)
    > collecting societies in smaller European countries fear
    > that they will lose out to larger rivals, potentially
    > restricting the development of new music


    LOL... "new music" isn't dependent on collection societies. People driven by the desire to make art create 'new music'. Check out Jamendo [jamendo.com] or the podsafe stuff [podsafe.com] or Staccato [staccatomusic.org] for tons of great stuff outside the 'business'.
  • by Transcendor (907201) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:33AM (#13780191)
    In Germany, there is the so-called GEMA (Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte) [society for musicial performance and mechanical reproduction rights], which gets share of the prices on CDRs, music tapes... and the profit on Audio-CDs. The artists get their share of this money, no matter how often they've been copied or wheter it is still legal to copy a certain CD (Germany has made it illegal, not punishable, to circumvent technical copy restrictions...).
    The problem is that this society is a) to expensive and b) far to complex for the small musician out on the streets to take advantage of. So, instead of getting money for being heard, he pays money for his own blank CDRs, while Sony etc keep getting the big shares.
    On the other hand, that directive is really quite unsatisfacting, as it leaves holes for every big company to establish their own restrictioning system instead of making things easier and more reliable for both, listeners and creators.

    ---don't get bitten/r [linklike.de.vu]
    • Not every music stream is cut out to become big, not every artist (in any field at all) makes it big. So most people who do art in some way, pay pretty big money to be able to do so, compared to what they earn with their art (in response/respect for it, or cash). It is unfair though that the small artists, and anybody else using their recording devices in a legal (ie: not copyright infringing) way, to have to pay for it. The current charge on recording media, and in some countries devices, is totally ridicu
  • When will they do the same with TV channels? As it is now, the satellite TV provider gives me a card that will enable me to decode the Dutch satellite TV channels anywhere in Europe -- but to get the card, I have to sign a contract stating I am only allowed to actually use the card in the Netherlands.

    The reason is of cource the same as with music: the copyrightholders want to sell each movie at different prices to each country. But not being able to see TV channels from other countries hinders european in

    • Hopefully: soon. The same thing happens with sport: a lot of pubs in the UK show English football on French TV because it's cheaper than Sky. Murdoch is understandably irate about this and has been suing people.

      As far as I'm concerned, the single market, being pretty much the founding principle and purpose of the European Union, ought to trump copyrights and licensing. The principle that a European citizen ought to be able to purchase products and services unobstructed from any European member state is on

  • The smaller collection agencies scattered across Europe are for the most part filled to the brim with corruption. This will hopefully put an end to that.
  • At last! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:36AM (#13780203)
    Does this mean that we in the UK can now pay the same for downloads as our dear friends on the mainland?

    As it is, in the UK the usual price is 99 pence, whereas on the mainland the usual price, so I hear, is 99 euro cents. For US readers, a euro is a little bit more than a dollar, while a pount is a lot more than a dollar.

    We're getting ripped off out here, and that's contrary to the whole point of the single market. Nice to see something getting done about it.

    • > 99 pence

      Actually 79p seems to be the going rate in the UK...

      http://www.tescodownloads.com/ [tescodownloads.com] ... if you are stupid enough to buy into the DRM turning your 'purchase' into an effective rental.

      If you use GPL software, with the licensing benefits, why not look at the music the same way?
    • Re:At last! (Score:3, Informative)

      by pubjames (468013)
      We're getting ripped off out here, and that's contrary to the whole point of the single market.

      Well, one of the points of the Euro was to make pricing differences between countries transparent to consumers. The UK didn't join the Euro and so don't get the benefits of it.

      • The pricing is transparent. We now know for certain that we are being ripped off. That's as much transparency as we could nee.

        What the Euro does not do is slap about the greedy w**kers who are ripping us off. That takes consumer pressure or regulation. As the later is unlikely becuase the regulators are being lobbied non-stop by those who are benefitting from the system that just leaves consumer pressure.

        I'll be sure to stop buying music ... but maybe just one more Kylie download before I give up.

        • The pricing is transparent.

          No it isn't. Which would you prefer, 500 pounds or 800 euro? I expect the answer isn't immediately obvious to you. And what about the man in the street in the UK - do most people even know what the Euro/Pound exchange rate is?

          With price transparency comes customer pressure. Of course, it doesn't help that markets are locked so that for instance you can't buy from the French itunes store in the UK. But one of the main functions of the EU is to remove that kind of market barrier.

          U
          • Give me the Euro. I think an awful lot of people in the UK are well aware of the exchange rate between the pound and the euro, most of us take enough European holidays nowadays to give us an idea of the differences.

            Trade barriers are a slightly different issue to relative pricing and something the EU should work more on breaking down.

            The reason the UK Government opposes market barriers on alcohol is because they would lose the large amounts of tax they gain with the present system, most of the UK population
          • "Which would you prefer, 500 pounds or 800 euro?"

            I don't understand...I thought all of Europe switched from local currencies to the euro, yet I still see posts like this citing pounds, lire (sp?), marks...etc.

            Can you explain exactly how this all works over there?

      • Well, one of the points of the Euro was to make pricing differences between countries transparent to consumers. The UK didn't join the Euro and so don't get the benefits of it.

        No, the problem is that there is that the four freedoms are being undermined:
        freedom of movement of goods -- Article 28 EC
        freedom of movement of persons -- Article 39 EC
        the right of establishment -- Article 43 EC
        and freedom to provide services -- Article 50 EC

        When they can sell their IP (I consider something bought at iTMS a sale, jus
    • Re:At last! (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      Actually, as the other poster pointed out, the common cost of a song is £0.79 in the UK. At current exchange rates:

      $0.99 = £0.565 = 0.822

      At Apple's exchage rate:

      $0.99 = £0.79 = 0.99

      While the real exchange rates give:

      £0.69 = $1.192

      £0.79 = $1.385

      As you can see, those in the UK are ripped off by twice as much as those in the rest of the EU. Of course, this is only for music. For video, Apple's exchange rates are: $1.99 = £1.89 = 2.49

      While the real exchange rates a

  • fear and jealousy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:40AM (#13780212) Homepage Journal
    as collecting societies in smaller European countries fear that they will lose out to larger rivals, potentially restricting the development of new music.

    Doesn't parse. For all I know, the amount of collected money that goes to new music, i.e. startup bands, young groups, etc. is so small that for all practical purposes you can treat it as being zero.

    On the other hand, the amount that stays with the collecting societies to pay for "expanses" and "overhead" is considerable.

    Sounds like someone seing his protection racket, uh, sorry, "business model" being washed away, nothing else.

  • EU (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Auckerman (223266) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:41AM (#13780213)
    It sounds like the EU is going through the same problems the the US did when it tried a confederate system. When we figured out it wasn't going so well, we moved to a federal system. This is just another example.

    Having a single copyright authority for Europe sounds like a good idea. Smaller countries need to realize that under unified economic policy, they will benifit from the wealth of the larger states more than they will suffer from less power.

    The creation and playing of music won't suffer because you don't have your own licensing board, it will suffer if the fees associated with said process are so high that the common man can't afford them.
    • Re:EU (Score:3, Interesting)

      by novus ordo (843883)
      Only in Europe you would only have a few of states that actually understood the president. Language barrier is a hard obstacle to overcome, not to mention cultural, ethnic and religious differences. The only reason EU exists is because of economic reasons. It's like trying to get the Noah's ark animals to produce the entire works of Shakespeare in Mongolian.
      • Re:EU (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Language barrier is a hard obstacle to overcome

        Not really. Give it 20 or 30 years and English will be the primary language throughout the EU. Even France has admited already that English is the lingua franca[1] of the EU bureaucracy.

        [1]: insert your own irony here.
        • by Raphael (18701)

          Even France has admited already that English is the lingua franca[1] of the EU bureaucracy.

          Yes, that's probably why France passed a law ten years ago requiring all documentation related to conferences held in France to be written in French and only optionally translated to other languages, including if all speakers and participants in the conference speak English and if only a few of them are French or understand French. Depending on who organizes the conference, it may also be required to provide tran

        • There is no irony. Lingua franca was a real language, if a pidgin, and it wasn't French.

          The reason for the name is because a lot of Franks traveled widely (in no small part because of the Crusades), and so many people outside of western Europe used it as a generic term for people from there. The French also get their name from the Franks.
    • by dajak (662256)
      Smaller countries need to realize that under unified economic policy, they will benifit from the wealth of the larger states more than they will suffer from less power.

      The wealth of the larger states? The smaller states neighbouring larger states in the EU are already wealthier [finfacts.com]. Predatory economic and fiscal policies (Luxemburg, Switzerland, Netherlands Antilles) and other advantages from being able to use legislation as a competitive instrument are a major contributor to that wealth. A unified economic pol
    • by Eivind (15695)
      Smaller countries need to realize that under unified economic policy, they will benifit from the wealth of the larger states more than they will suffer from less power.

      Except, offcourse, the smaller states in the EU are generally *richer* than the bigger ones, not the other way around as you seem to believe.

      Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium, all sub-10-million inhabitants and all enjoying a higher standard of living and a better financial situation overall than say UK, France, and German

  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:46AM (#13780225)

    If the British collection society should disappear, it would be the death of an old and venerable joke which goes back as least as far as Morecambe and Wise:

    Are you from the Performing Rights Society?

    Well, tell these musicians they aren't performing right.

    It sounded better in black and white...

  • by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @05:46AM (#13780227) Homepage Journal
    A bit of perspective, for those of you who are not EU citizens:

    1. Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Portugal Prime Minister and now the current President of the European Commission was fairly unpopular in his own country [eubusiness.com], just before he was (conveniently?) named to the top EU job.
    2. He chose people for some of the top jobs in Europe who quickly alienated European Members of Parliament with their ultra-conservative positions [timesonline.co.uk] and had to withdraw their candidacy [bbc.co.uk].
    3. Predictably, he has supported the wackiest pro-big-business policies, to the point that it threatened open-source and free software and favored the european equivalent of the RIAA (look it up on google or /.)


    So, today, we have another piece of legislation -- written by the same arch-conservative people -- that seems to support big european businesses, at the expense of the 'consumers' and smaller EU firms. Big surprise.

    As long as the top jobs in the EU are discreetly decided by powerful, rich white people in remote smoke-filled rooms, without any input by European citizens , that type of bullsh*t will continue. Get mad and get involved.
    • by meringuoid (568297) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:00AM (#13780263)
      As long as the top jobs in the EU are discreetly decided by powerful, rich white people in remote smoke-filled rooms, without any input by European citizens , that type of bullsh*t will continue. Get mad and get involved.

      Right, let's put forward a proposal to abolish the direct appointment of unelected commissioners, increase the importance of the Parliament, and have a directly elected president (as opposed to the joke that the presidency is now, rotating from country to country). Democratise the EU, give the people their say.

      Result: popular outcry. Superstate. Federalists. Treason, they're selling out our country! Churchill spinning in grave! Where Hitler Failed They're Succeeding Without A Shot Fired!

      The EU is never going to get anywhere this way. At least one country is always going to throw a tantrum if it doesn't get its way, and it'll usually be the same one country. De Gaulle was right from the beginning; for the sake of the union, throw us out, NOW.

      • De Gaulle was right from the beginning; for the sake of the union, throw us out, NOW.

        So that USA readers understand what you are saying you should make clear that you are referring to removing the UK from the EU.
        • The irony here being that it was the French who scuppered the EU constitution, rather than the UK (although the UK would probably have done the same, if they'd ever been given the chance.)
          • Yes, but was the "EU constitution" helping or harming the cause of European federalism?

            I think that this whole EU constitution thing was a very bad idea from the beginning. Constitution speaks of superstate and federalism, yet nothing of the sort was included in the text itself. Ensued a terribly confusing campaign where very few people (myself NOT included) understood what they were voting for. And even fewer voted for the right reason. I voted YES, mainly for fear of what would happen should the NO wi
          • The irony here being that it was the French who scuppered the EU constitution, rather than the UK (although the UK would probably have done the same, if they'd ever been given the chance.)

            As a Dutchman who helped carrying the thing to its grave, I am very sorry the UK and other member states didn't proceed with referenda. This leaves us in a situation where the treaty basically cannot be renegotiated because other governments are not in a position to make any compromises with France and the Netherlands with
      • You're right it isn't so it should concentrate on what it was set up to do originally which is to enable free trade amongst it's members rather than attempting to turn it's self into an all powerful political entity.
      • "The EU is never going to get anywhere this way. At least one country is always going to throw a tantrum if it doesn't get its way, and it'll usually be the same one country. De Gaulle was right from the beginning; for the sake of the union, throw us out, NOW."

        Funny, here I was thinking you meant the UK, who don't seem to want the EU evolve into anything beyond a free trade zone ;)

        It'll be interesting to see if the enlargement of the EU will enhance the cacophony or make individual candidates less important
      • The EU is never going to get anywhere this way. At least one country is always going to throw a tantrum if it doesn't get its way, and it'll usually
        is never going to get anywhere this way. At least one country is always going to throw a tantrum if it doesn't get its way, and it'll usually be the same one country. De Gaulle was right from the beginning; for the sake of the union, throw us out, NOW.


        Not just the one. Lots of the older members have "special deals" with EU. Hell, Norway is member of lots of EU p
      • The EU is never going to get anywhere this way. At least one country is always going to throw a tantrum if it doesn't get its way, and it'll usually be the same one country. De Gaulle was right from the beginning; for the sake of the union, throw us out, NOW.

        At least that would deal with the infamous British rebate, and that would make it far easier for the countries who pay for this charade to force some concessions on agricultural policy out of the French, who seem to be completely obsessed with making su
      • You've made a good point: the (ultra) left as well as the right of the populace protest against the EU, but for totally (and diametrically oposed) reasons. So it's not easy to know how to go further, if further means 'better', because the ideas for what constitutes 'better' are not the same.

        Yet, I think that both sides would rather prefer a directly elected person or group of persons which draw up laws for millions of EU-citizens but without ever having to give any sort of responsability to those same citiz
    • top jobs in the EU are discreetly decided by powerful, rich white people

      Uh. It's Europe. Aren't they (nearly) all white people to begin with?
      • There's significant non-white minorities from those countries which used to have colonies in Africa and elsewhere, and also, offocurse, newer immigrants of various types. France for example has quite a few people with african roots.
    • You really think that the European Council cares about domestic portuguese politics? Barroso was chosen through long and painful negotiation between the member states, mostly made difficult by France's strange idea that somehow most presidents of the commission should be ENA-educated Frenchmen. As for Rocco Buttiglioni: you realise the commissioners are chosen by their home countries, not by the president of the commission? He just decides which portfolio they get. Buttiglioni wasn't unpopular for "ultra-co
  • What?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:19AM (#13780301)
    This story is proof that the Slashdot editors don't even bother to read the links of the stories they post.

    The linked articles have nothing to do with the subject of the post.

    Come on Slashdot editors, wake up!
  • HA! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bigHairyDog (686475) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:25AM (#13780312)
    From TFA:

    "collecting societies in smaller European countries fear that they will lose out to larger rivals, potentially restricting the development of new music"

    That's like KFC claiming that they need protection from McDonalds or it might "potentially restrict the development of new food"
    • by m50d (797211)
      When was the last time you heard a good song out of (for example) Poland? I can understand the Poles worrying that a unified european authority would only fund French pop and German techno and young Polish bands wouldn't get anything.
  • by monktus (742861) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:40AM (#13780357)
    AFAIK, this is already the case. I was under the impression that for the past couple of years the likes of record companies have been able to use collection societies from other EU member states. The whole point was to eliminate the monopolies that organisations like the MCPS/PRS have, and they were getting worried about losing business; I seem to remember one of the majors were going to defect to SABAM (Belgium).
    • by zpok (604055)
      A major defecting to SABAM? Meaning a label defecting to a copyright collector? I don't get this at all, but am very intrigued. I hope you don't mind explaining this in more detail to me, would love to know more! Sorry if I'm slow to catch on, I promise I will drink that second cup of coffee before I read your reply :-)

      Cheers,
  • "DUPE!" and Comment (Score:4, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday October 13, 2005 @06:56AM (#13780375) Homepage Journal
    First off, this article appears to be a dupe; although the fact that the link poinst to the wrong bill masks that. The earlier story is here [slashdot.org], and here [slashdot.org] is what I had to say at the time.
  • Am I the only one who read the title wrong and thought it said:

      EU-wide Music Listening Policies Published

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.

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