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Article thirteen and beyond – get to grips with the Copyright Directive at the next CMU Insights masterclass

By | Published on Monday 26 November 2018


YouTube going into overdrive in its bid to influence the very final draft of the European Copyright Directive has ensured millions more people are aware that said directive contains something called article thirteen. Said article is very bad news that will leave grassroots creators worse off, says the Google company. Except it’s actually a sensible bit of copyright reform that will make the digital market much fairer for creators operating at all levels, counters the music industry.

If you are still getting to grips with what the safe harbour, the value gap and article thirteen is all about, everything will be explained at the next CMU Insights masterclass ‘Key Developments In Music Rights’. The session will also talk through the other elements of the Copyright Directive relevant to the music industry, as well as the Music Modernization Act in the US, termination rights, key copyright court cases, anti-piracy initiatives and the ongoing music rights data problem.

“It was really interesting that YouTube’s music boss Lyor Cohen brought up transparency issues in his blog post on article thirteen last week”, says CMU MD Chris Cooke, who will lead the masterclass.

“He was basically saying ‘the problem is the artists don’t have all the facts because the labels aren’t transparent enough'”, Cooke goes on. “It seemed to be a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy aiming to split the artists and songwriters off from the labels and publishers, the music community having been unusually united in its campaign for safe harbour reform in Europe. Given artist and songwriter groups have played a key role in that campaign, I don’t think it’s going to work”.

“However”, he goes on, “while article thirteen has had all the press around the European Copyright Directive, it’s important to remember there are other music relevant articles in there too. And that includes article fourteen, which seeks to provide artists and songwriters with more transparency about the way their music is exploited online. Ongoing transparency issues may not be particularly relevant to whether or not the safe harbour needs reforming, but addressing those issues is just as important, and we’ll explain what article fourteen says at the masterclass”.

Cohen and his boss – YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki – have also both brought up the music industry’s big data problem in their last minute arguments against article thirteen. “Again, this might be distraction tactic in the context of the safe harbour debate”, Cooke says. “But they are right that this remains a big issue in the music industry that is negatively impacting on the efficient payment of royalties. We’ll also review the music data debate and the various attempts to solve this problem in the masterclass”.

You can find more information about the masterclass here. Tickets are just £79.99 and are on sale now.