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Improving the online licensing of music across the EU

Improving the online licensing of music across the EU

This directive aims at improving the functioning of copyright collective management organisations. It also makes it easier to grant EU-wide licensing of authors’ rights in regard to music that is made available online.


Directive 2014/26/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on collective management of copyright and related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online use in the internal market.


The directive is designed to improve the online licensing of music by collective management organisations across the EU.

Collective management organisations collect, manage and distribute earnings from the exploitation of the rights the responsibility for which rightsholders (i.e. the producers of the music) have delegated to them.

Management of copyright includes granting licences to users, monitoring the use of rights, collecting revenues and distributing them. They enable rightsholders to be remunerated for useswhich they would not be in a position to control or enforce themselves .

Prior to the introduction of the directive, online music service providers typically had to obtain licences for music services across the EU from separate collective management organisations in each EU country.

The directive will allow the online music service providers to obtain licences from collective management organisations operating across EU borders. This is called ‘multi-territorial licensing’. The rules for this are set out in Title III of the directive. This type of licensing is expected to give consumers wider choice to download music or to listen to it in streaming mode and to encourage the development of new models of music access. The development of legal online music services across the EU is also expected to help in the fight against online infringements of copyright.

Further information is available from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs website.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2014/26/EU



OJ L 84, 20.3.2014., p. 72-98

Last updated: 08.08.2014