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BMI allies with ICE on European digital licensing

By | Published on Wednesday 16 December 2020


US song rights collecting society BMI has announced a partnership with copyright hub ICE which will see those elements of its repertoire not covered by direct licensing in the digital domain included in with the ICE Core licence across Europe.

Lots of music publishers now license their Anglo-American repertoires to digital services via direct deals in many markets and especially Europe. However, any songs not covered by those deals will still be licensed to streaming platforms via the collective licensing system.

Traditionally with collective licensing, the local society would issue the licence in each country, representing the rights of and collecting royalties for all the other collecting societies in the world. However, with digital some societies have started to directly license streaming services in other countries too, removing the number of links in the royalty chain once payments start to come in.

That’s basically what BMI will now do in Europe through its partnership with ICE, joining the same digital licensing framework used by fellow Anglo-American societies PRS and IMRO, as well as Germany’s GEMA and Sweden’s STIM, plus some of the independent publishers going the direct route like Downtown, Concord and Peermusic.

Confirming the new tie-up with ICE, BMI’s SVP International & Global Policy Ann Sweeney says: “BMI continues to applaud the invaluable work that the local CMOs perform every day for our songwriters, composers and music publishers, and we also appreciate the challenge that digital music services face in securing rights for their services across Europe”.

“This new collaboration with ICE”, she goes on, “helps to meet that challenge by providing an efficient one-stop-shop to the European [digital services] and supports our continued effort to serve BMI’s music creators when their creative works are performed digitally in Europe”.

At ICE, VP Commercial Ben McEwen adds: “At this time, it’s more critical than ever that rights-holders have the best online licensing representation, with the expertise and shared resources to really address the market on their behalf, and we believe that ICE can provide that for BMI”.