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Pop music agency Avex Group Holdings, known for managing artists such as Exile, Namie Amuro and Tokyo Girls’ Style, announced in October that they plan to transfer the copyright administration of up to 100,000 songs from the current holder, JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers), to their affiliate copyright organization, e-License. Then in December, Avex announced that e-License and JRC (Japan Rights Clearance), another copyright mangament company, would be merged into a new organization, NexTone, on Feb. 1, 2016.

Having the two companies combined could spell the end of JASRAC’s monopoly over various areas of the music copyright management business. The launch of e-License generated competition over the copyrights of recorded and interactive music, and it is reported that NexTone has a long-term goal of penetrating the performing rights copyrights still dominated by JASRAC.

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