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Music industry responds to draft European copyright directive

By | Published on Thursday 15 September 2016

European Commission

Lots of people in the music community had things to say about yesterday’s draft new copyright directive for the European Union, and here they all are, saying things. For those of you playing buzzword bingo, today’s featured words are “value”, “framework”, “first step” and “sustained growth”. Oh, and it’s two shots for “level playing field”.

International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry CEO Frances Moore…
“The music industry has transformed itself in recent years, licensing hundreds of services, widening choices for consumers and investing in new, creative ways to bring artists to a global audience. But to achieve sustainable growth, the music sector needs a level playing field. This means creating an environment where copyright rules are correctly applied so that creators and producers can be confident to invest and license. It also means allowing digital services to compete on fair terms and enabling consumers to enjoy access to diverse sources of licensed music”.

“Today’s proposal is a good first step towards creating a better and fairer licensing environment in Europe. Importantly, it confirms that user uploaded content services such as YouTube, which are the largest source of on-demand music, should not be able to operate outside normal licensing rules. However, there is a lot more to do to make this a workable proposal. We look forward to working on this in the coming months with the parliament and member states”.

IMPALA’s Executive Chair Helen Smith…
“Our members work hard with a whole range of services on a daily basis to meet citizens’ thirst for music. This proposal is a good first step to help the legal framework to catch up with market reality by clarifying the situation of platforms which provide large scale access to music and other protected works”.

“For everyone in the music ecosystem to benefit, the starting point is fair negotiations and remuneration for creators and their partners. This is vital for artists’ self-determination and freedom of expression. More work is needed to make sure the draft is fully effective, but this is a good start. This proposal will help remove some of the friction in the licensing market. It will also stop services providing discriminatory access to their content identification systems”.

BPI CEO Geoff Taylor…
“Record labels are the key investors in new music and welcome the clear acknowledgement from the Commission that we need a level playing field for digital music. UGC platforms such as YouTube are building huge businesses using music and other content while paying only a fraction of the royalties paid to artists and labels by services such as Spotify and Apple Music. This is not only unfair to artists, it distorts the growth of the music streaming market and undermines the ability of labels to invest in brilliant new music”.

“The explosion of music streaming offers the prospect of a new era of sustained growth for British music, but this potential will only be realised if the EU and UK Government fix the fault-line that lies at the very heart of the digital music market. It is very encouraging that the EU has begun the process of doing so”.

International Confederation Of Music Publishers Director General Coco Carmona…
“We think that this package is a step in the right direction to guarantee that the value generated by online platforms when using copyright protected content is fairly shared with rightsholders. We are also satisfied that the Commission has recognised that music publishers make an economic and creative investment that is worth protecting and as a result, have the right to claim a share of compensation for uses of works under an exception to copyright. But more needs to be done so we will continue working with both the Council and the European Parliament in order to strengthen the rights of authors, composers, music publishers and other players in the creative value chain”.

Independent Music Publishers Forum President Pierre Mossiat…
“The provisions designed to address the issues are not sufficiently robust or concise and the package does not give adequate direction to member states. Without clear regulatory guidance the interests of big business will continue to jeopardise the livelihoods of songwriters all around Europe”.

“Transfer of value, or the value gap, is about achieving a decent earning for creators from large platforms, such as YouTube, that benefit financially and disproportionately from the creative work of artists. Failing to address this adequately, endangers the livelihoods of creators and at the same time, compromises the freedom of consumers, as they need to have broad access to legal and diverse cultural content”.

“The bottom line is that authors and composers must be compensated for their work. This much anticipated copyright package, while a step in the right direction, has quite some way to go to achieve the level of compensation for the use of their work that songwriters and indie music publishers, the core small businesses in the creative music field in Europe, need”.

PRS For Music CEO Robert Ashcroft…
“PRS For Music welcomes the Commission’s recognition of the critical ‘transfer of value’ issue and we acknowledge the clear intention to redress the current imbalance of interests between user upload platforms and rightsholders. The law must clearly establish that those user upload platforms that provide search and other functionality, as distinct from being mere hosts of content, require a licence from rightsholders. The European Commission’s proposed new copyright directive provides the framework for this essential legal clarity”.

“Europe is our largest export market and, even outside of the European Union, its copyright framework will directly impact UK creator’s earnings. Therefore, we hope that the EU Parliament and Council will grasp this opportunity to establish a functioning, digital single market – as this is in the interests of all concerned: creators, consumers and platforms, new and established”.

Music Managers Forum President Jon Webster…
“The MMF has been arguing for reasonable remuneration for the artists who helped build this industry in the 60s, 70s and 80s and it is good to see that finally recognised. Transparency has all but disappeared in the last ten years and that’s not acceptable. These measures should help to address that”.

Music Managers Forum CEO Annabella Coldrick…
“We call upon the other members of the value chain to recognise the need for these changes and to work together to strengthen not dilute them so creators can track and be remunerated for uses of their works”.

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