Armonia: how Google was the first to use a (long overdue) one stop shop for music licensing in Europe

19 Nov, 2012

Licensing of copyrighted content has long been a nightmare for service providers, and a significant roadblock for consumers to access the content that they like. Now, finally, with Armonia it seems like one stop shopping became a reality for music providers like Spotify and the recently launched Google Play Music service. Google was the first party to actually sign a deal with Armonia.

Armonia: one stop shop licensing with 5,5 million copyrighted works in 35 countries

Armonia, according to the press release, is the first pan-European hub for licensing of online services. It boasts 5,5 million works in over 35 countries.

It’s something that the European Commission has been trying to arrange for the past decade or so, according to the Financial Times pushing content providers as well as author’s collecting societies to set up one stop shops for all providers wanting to serve the European market – rather than forcing them to close licensing agreements in every one of the 26 national markets.

Sami Valkonen, head of music licensing at Google: “Armonia is a welcome development in the ongoing reform of pan-territorial licensing in Europe in helping to simplify and speed-up the music-licensing process, which is crucial in fostering ongoing rapid innovation by digital music service providers.”

The deal also enabled Google to launch other new services in Europe: Google Store, Google Video on Demand and Google Locker.

Armonia is a collaboration between Sacem, the French collecting society, Siae, and Sgae, the collecting societies of Italy and Sony Latin America, respectively. The grouping also includes Universal Music Publishing group.

Know more about Armonia, copyrights, licensing, and… video? Contact Whiteboard!

If any lawyers know more about the implications of this, please consider writing a guest blog or calling me for a short interview. That and the question: when video?

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via Europe’s music services in harmony –

Photo: this scheme is Yoda approved, Orange_Beard

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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