National versus regional, many versus few

The dilemma facing the collection societies


  • Phil Hardy Journalist and Consultant Author



collection societies, competition policy, copyright, music industry


National authors’ collection societies play a central role in the music copyright economy. Throughout most of the twentieth century, they operated a successful reciprocal system which enabled composers’ foreign earnings to be efficiently repatriated. In the last two decades, this system has been under pressure from international record companies, competition authorities and the online digital market, each of which has undermined the national basis of copyright licensing administration. This article traces the key events involved in these processes between 1996 and 2006, and the responses of authors’ societies to them.

Author Biography

  • Phil Hardy, Journalist and Consultant

    Phil Hardy is the founding editor of The View music industry newsletter. He has also written for Variety, Music Week, the Sunday Times, Time Out and various music and film trade magazines. He has worked as a consultant for several public bodies in the UK and the World Bank.








How to Cite

Hardy, P. (2009). National versus regional, many versus few: The dilemma facing the collection societies. Popular Music History, 3(3), 233-246.