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230 European copyright groups call for European Parliament to back directive

By | Published on Monday 11 March 2019

European Commission

With the very final draft of the big fat European Copyright Directive now set to go before the European Parliament for one last big vote during the final week of this month, another open letter has been put out urging all those pesky MEPs to back the long-time-in-development copyright reforms.

Reps for the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Council agreed a final single draft of the directive last month, of course, at the conclusion of the so called trilogue phase of the proceedings. Parliament’s legal affairs committee then voted in favour of it all, but it’s the vote of the full Parliament later this month that is seen as the final hurdle. The full EU Council also needs to back the final draft, although that’s considered more of a formality, whereas critics of the directive continue to lobby MEPs hard.

The music industry backed safe harbour reforming article thirteen remains one of the most controversial elements of the whole thing, alongside article eleven, which has been lobbied for by the newspaper industry.

The new open letter reads: “We, the undersigned organisations, representing authors, composers, writers, journalists, performers and others working in all artistic fields, news agencies, book, press and music publishers, audio-visual and independent music producers call on the Parliament to adopt the Directive On Copyright In The Digital Single Market”.

“This directive has been long sought to create a much-needed level playing field for all actors of the creative sector in the European digital single market, whilst giving citizens better access to a wider array of content”, it goes on. “This is a historical opportunity. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. This is why we urge policymakers to adopt the directive quickly, as agreed in trilogue negotiations”.

The letter is signed by no less than 230 organisations representing copyright owners from across the European music, media, film, book, photography and visual art sectors. On the music side – while some trade bodies are notable by their absence – there are plenty of groups and societies representing artists, songwriters, record labels and music publishers in different European countries and on a pan-European and global basis.

Pan-European music industry groups include IMPALA (indie labels), GESAC (song right societies) and ECSA (songwriters), while global trade bodies backing the letter include BIEM (mechanical right societies), CIAM (songwriters), CISCAC (performing right societies), IAO (artists) and IMPF (music publishers).

Which is quite a lot of confusing acronyms and initials, isn’t it? In case you wondered, other signatories include ABK, ADAGP, ADEB, ADNPA, AEC, AGD, AG DOK, AIKAKAUSMEDIA, AIE, AIM, AIPA, AKKA/LAA, AKM, ALCS, ALEJ, AMAEI, APEL, API, ARI, ARTISJUS, ASOCIACIA VYDAVATATEL’OV, AUDIOCOOP and AUSTROMECHANA. And that was just those beginning with an A.

But you get the picture, right? There’s lots of acronyms representing copyright creating and owning groups supporting the directive. And yes, the list goes all the way down to Z with ZAIKS (the Polish Society Of Authors And Composers), ZAMP (the Croatian Copyright Protection Service for Music Works), ZAPA (the Polish Union Of Audio-visual Authors And Producers) and ZVKS (the Slovak Association Of Publishers And Booksellers).