U.S., E.U. IN MUSIC
COPYRIGHT DISPUTE

European Music Industry Seeks Compensation For Music Played in Retail Establishments
It's not quite World War III, but the United States and the European Union are set to discuss how to compensate the European music industry for losses due to a recently passed copyright law.

The World Trade Organization ruled last year that the U.S. Copyright Act broke a global intellectual agreement by exempting most bars, restaurants and shops from paying royalties on music played on a radio or TV.

Independent arbiters will determine how much should be paid to performers who have suffered losses until the law is amended.

EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy took time out from buffing boss Mario Monti's toenails to say, "This agreement is in line with our determination to manage trade disputes in a professional and efficient manner. Instead of adopting a confrontational approach, we have started a constructive dialogue. And, if that doesn't work, I will personally challenge Robert Pitofsky to a saber duel at dawn."

The case was sparked by the Irish Music Rights Organization, which complained about the law, especially when they discovered a Blarney Stone at Broadway and 42nd St. had played "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" 1,098,654 times since last St. Patrick's Day.

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