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Business News (more headlines) 04-28-2010

IFPI Supports TDC Music Service In Denmark

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The Danish record industry organization IFPI Denmark has decided to intervene in support of TDC - Denmark's leading ISP - in a case which today was brought before the Copyright License Tribunal by the company. The case concerns the size of the tariffs demanded by KODA ("Collecting Society for Composers' Rights in Denmark") in order to renew the license for TDC's music subscription service "TDC Play"

After several months of negotiations between KODA and TDC on the renewal of an agreement concerning the music subscription service "TDC Play" TDC announced on 26 March that the question of KODA's tariff claims will be brought for the Copyright License Tribunal. This took place on Wednesday morning of 7 April, and today the music industry organization IFPI announced that it wishes to intervene in the case in support of TDC whose 2-year license deal with KODA expired on March 31.

Mr Henrik Daldorph, Chairman of IFPI Denmark, says: - "IFPI works persistently to pave the way for the new business models in the music industry, from which labels and artists will make their living in the future. It is very frustrating that other actors in the industry, by claiming tariffs which far exceed the level known from abroad, make the development of the digital music market come to a halt in Denmark. An obvious example is the internationally popular music subscription service Spotify that has given Denmark a wide berth due to KODA's tariffs. And now we see KODA's tariff claims threaten to stop one of the two most important music services that we have on the Danish market: "TDC Play". Of course, we cannot sit quietly and watch this, and for that reason IFPI wishes to intervene in the case in support of TDC, which with "TDC Play" has had great influence in the development of the Danish digital market during recent years. It is most unusual that IFPI interferes in a case involving another organisation in the industry with whom we otherwise have an ex-cellent relationship. However, one of IFPI's most important tasks is, after all, to develop the market. So we cannot just remain a spectator, when someone attempts to make the development come to a halt - whoever it may be".

Henrik Daldorph underlines that record companies' industry organization IFPI is not already a party to the case with TDC, since it is the individual companies who have each entered into an agreement with TDC to license their repertoire. These agreements have - contrary to TDC's agreement with KODA - been finalized for a new two-year period.

"To KODA this issue is apparently a matter of setting whole new standards when it comes to the size of the shares of receipts to the music publishing houses and the songwriters in proportion to the shares that the performing artists, producers and record companies get. To us it is about keeping up continued investment interest and ability in the music industry. KODA forgets that without the record companies' billion dollar in-vestments in new recordings, publishing houses' and songwriters' basis of earning also disappear from the digital music services," Daldorph adds while looking forward to having the impartial decision from the Copy-right License Tribunals in the matter.

It appears directly from IFPI's international mission statement that the organisation works to develop the commercial use of recorded music. In the digital era that has in particular been a question of securing the best possible opportunities so that new internet-based music services may set up in the Danish market. "TDC Play" was at the time of launch (1 April, 2008) a good example of entirely new ways of innovating the use of music as added value in an already existing product - in this case TDC's broadband and mobile offers

In the two years the service has operated, the Danes have downloaded more than 200 million tracks from "TDC Play" which has generated substantial receipts for both music companies and artists. Furthermore, a number of studies have shown that music subscription services like TDC Play actively contribute to limiting music piracy as users with free access to music through a legitimate music subscription download less music from illegal sources. And reducing piracy is indeed another of IFPI's professed objectives.

Having heard both parties to the case, the Copyright License Tribunal will decide whether IFPI may intervene in the case.

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