Romanian Copyright Office sets fixed fee for online music
The Arbitration Commission of the Romanian Copyright Office (ORDA) has published two remarkable decisions on the price for online music and ring-tones. Romanian internet users will have to pay a fixed annual fee for any music they wish to offer on their website (via streaming or for downloading) of approximately 80 euro (3 million Romanian Lei). If the website owner charges a fee for music to be downloaded, they will have to pay 10% of the fee to the collecting society, with a minimum of 8 eurocent per downloaded track, independent of the origin of the music.
The decisions followed after unsuccessful negotiations between the Romanian Musical Performing and Mechanical Rights Society, the Romanian Association of ISPs and the association of ring-tone providers. The decisions were published in the Official Monitor no. 58 of 18 January 2005. Even though the name of the first decision is ‘methodology for using musical works on the Internet’ the methodology refers only to web-pages. The copyright owner only has the right to opt-out. He can provide the collecting society with a list of musical works that cannot be used on the Internet.
The Commission also decided on the methodology for using musical works as ring-tones, along the same lines. Providers of ring-tones will have to pay 10% of the fee they charged, with a minimum of 8 eurocent. Again the authors can only opt-out, by providing the collecting society with a list of works that should not be turned into ring-tones.
The ISP association has announced they will appeal the decision, because they still find the 10% charge much too high.
ORDA (Romanian Copyright Office)
UCMR – ADA (Romanian music collecting society)
ANISP (ISP association)
Musical works methodology decision (in Romanian, 18.01.2005)
Ring tones methodology (in Romanian, 18.01.2005)
(Contribution by Bogdan Manolea, legal advisor, Romania)