New media services rejoice: a collection of big players in the music industry are reportedly working on a new copyright scheme that will make artists' work easier to license across platforms including mobiles, websites and online streaming services.
Under the current system, whenever a track is played commercially, money has to go to each writer who took part in the track's creation, but currently no definitive database exists linking all artists and publishers to their respective tracks. Without this information, new media services looking to play music have a difficult job finding out who in the industry they owe how much to keep their service on the right side of the law.
"One of the complexitites for a new service is people say they don't know who to pay", says Neil Gaffney, Executive Vice President at EMI Music Publishing UK. "[The new system] gets rid of one of the fundamental issues and means we can turn our attention to those people who use music illegally."
Backers of the new system include Amazon, Apple, Universal Music Publishing and EMI. The database of music, created by consultancy firm Deloitte, is hoped to be up and running within two years.