Music 4.5 Licensing: The politics of licensing Safe harbor legislation – known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US and recast as the Electronic Commerce Directive in the EU – is under fire. The original intent of these laws – to protect (and perhaps, absolve) website owners from penalization if content sharing and hosting by their users violated any copyright law – is damaging the music industry and the rights of artists and rightsholders, with many struggling to get revenue off of user-generated content (UGC).The EU Collective Rights Management Directive of 2014, setting out new rules governing ‘collective management organisations’ (CMOs), is now a requirement for EU member states to implement. The EU directive aims to make it easier for creators and rights owners to move their works between CMOs in Europe. It provides the legal framework to support competition among CMOs for rightsholders’ mandates rather than for licencees, thus encouraging improved standards for multi-territory licensing, timely payments, and overall more transparency.Music 4.5 The Politics of Licensing will examine the latest developments in the US around music licensing and ‘safe harbor’, in contrast with the European #singledigitalmarket ambitions, and the implications of the different policies for artists, record labels, publishers, collective rights management organisations, and digital service providers.We will cover questions such as:- How do artists and rightsholders navigate multi-territory licensing?- Will the EU directive deliver a level playing field between collective rights management organisations?- How is the EU directive affected by the US ‘safe harbor’ legislation and how is the EU dealing with it?- Is there a level playing field between different service providers, e.g. Spotify and YouTube?- If linear and non-linear services are increasingly competing head on, what is being done to align the licensing?- What changes will guarantee a free market with like-for-like competition and increased revenues returned to artists and rightsholders?