The Point on the Barnier Directive.


More and more discussions arise around the receipt of the Barnier Directive (EU 2014/26) harmonizing copyright management at a European level so as to ensure more efficient and transparent ownership by copyright collecting societies, by introducing a greater level of liberalization. As many may know, copyright collection in the EU is still governed locally
Article 5 of the Barnier Directive provides that “right holders have the right to authorize a collective management body of their choice to manage rights, categories of rights or types of works and other protected materials of their choice, for the territories of their choice, irrespective of the Member State of nationality, residence and establishment of the collective management body or the rightholder”.
The Barnier Directive addresses three major issues.
First, the collective management of copyright and the remuneration of each artist for the reproduction of his works. The Directive has a major significant impact on music and in Italy where copyright is still collected by Siae, the Italian Collecting Society of Authors and publishers under a monopoly regime.
The second area of intervention of the Directive is the management of neighbouring rights. Unlike what is still happening with Siae, the market of neighbouring rights has been already liberalized and today the former IMAIE monopoly (Mutualist Institute Performing Performers) is competing with eight other collecting companies
The third and final aspect of the Directive is the grant of multilateral licenses for rights to music reproduced online: for example, on youtube or spotify.
In June 2016, AGCOM also wrote to Parliament and the Government, pointing out that "the value and the ratio of the European regulatory system are severely compromised by the presence, within the national system, of an isolated provision in the landscape of the Member States, which attributes to a single subject (Siae) the reserve for the brokerage of copyright. "
Something, however, seems to be changing: recently, the Minister of Culture Franceschini stated that “the government has been prepared to propose to the Parliament a standard that allows other collective management bodies to operate in Italy”. In fact, this statement seems partial and, according to many, only avoids further infringement proceedings for our country, as it does not provide for a genuine liberalization but a small opening of the market to only other non-profit-making collective management bodies, or equivalent foreign companies. 
Italy has implemented the Barnier Directive only in March 2017, thus reserving SIAE the right to an exclusivity provided by article 180 of the copyright law of 1941.
This would mean in principle that private independent management companies such as Soundreef which now operate through a UK subsidiary to evade the Italian monopoly, would be excluded. Siae already has representation agreements with European counterparts, by virtue of which each collecting company manages copyright in its own country on behalf of others. The debate therefore seems to continue.