The 21 music royalty societies in the EU will now be obliged to allow multi-nation licensing agreements with the likes of Apple, Amazon and Spotify, following a European court ruling.

Organisations like the Performing Rights Society in the UK have generally collected royalties applicable in their nation, as have others across the continent.

This has meant that each time a new service like Spotify or Rdio launches, it must obtain a different licensing agreement with each country's the royalty society as well as the record labels themselves.

Now the EU General Court ruling, which upholds a decision made way back in 2008, will pave the way for greater choice for customers and an easier ride for music start-ups across the continent.

More choice

The reopening of the case came after British retailer Music Choice had complained that its customers were unable to obtain some music due to local licensing agreements.

The ruling will make it easier for the retailer and other streaming companies to avoid future problems by obtaining multi-nation agreements.

With Twitter launching its own music streaming service and Apple rumoured to be launching iRadio this summer, the affect of this ruling may be felt sooner rather than later.

Via Reuters