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Broadcasters face copyright row

A group representing composers and songwriters claims some of Europe's most prominent broadcasters including the BBC, ITV and British Sky Broadcasting are coercing artists into giving up copyrights to their work.

The complaint, filed with the European Commission, targets more than 15 broadcasters and studios.

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, representing 12,000 artists, said publishing agreements are often less fair than if the market were truly open.

The complaint claims abuse of a dominant market position and says composers are frequently told they will not be considered for a commission unless they are willing to give up their copyrights.

The commission must now decide whether to open an investigation.

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