Following on from a post over at Sandlines about how many of the digital audio providers are switching away from DRM and over to MP3 which does not restrict consumer usage; it was interesting to see that the EU was also trying to do something about making EU-wide licensing and rights simpler – this will no doubt help boost the number of EU wide companies in the digital space as it will lower the barriers to entry for them, but also it might allow for more unified pricing across Europe.
Hopefuly this could mean similar pricing for the whole of Europe (minus the exchange rates between pounds and euros) so scenarios like we had with iTunes where they charged 79p and 99 cents in the UK and EU respectively should not happen.
The group of people being consulted for this included Apple boss Steve Jobs, the head of EMI Roger Faxon, Alcatel-Lucent boss Ben Verwaayen, Fiat boss John Elkann and the boss of eBay John Donahoe.
Obviously the presence of Apple and EMI means they are looking at the digital music space and I imagine may have come about post the court case between Apple and the EU over its iTunes pricing schemes as mentioned above.
What is interesting is the presence of Fiat, Alcatel-Lucent and eBay – what are they bringing to the table other than general online expertise? eBay I imagine might be looking to simplify auction rules across Europe? But are there scenarios where someone in one part of the EU cannot get Fiat/Alcatel-Lucent products in another?
In any case, there must come a day where someone figures out a way to have global rights to digital content – right now the costs of obtaining these are astronomical but maybe if a framework can be built for across Europe that will be a start.