Oct 25, 2023 2 min read

GESAC welcomes European Parliament support for measures against buy-outs

GESAC, representing song right collecting societies across Europe, has welcomed the news that two European Parliament committees have adopted a report which, among other things, calls for protections for music-makers against forced buy-outs when they are commissioned to create new music

GESAC welcomes European Parliament support for measures against buy-outs

GESAC has welcomed the news that the culture and employment committees of the European Parliament have adopted a report that includes various legislative recommendations on creator rights.

For GESAC, which represents the song right collecting societies of Europe, of particular interest is what the report says about buy-outs. That’s where entities that commission songwriters and musicians to create new music seek to own many, or maybe even all, of the rights associated with that music. This means that, while the writer or performer will get an upfront fee, they won’t earn ongoing royalties when their music is used.

Buy-outs are more common in Anglo-American markets, with complete buy-outs mainly happening in the US. But commissioning entities seeking more rights is becoming more common and that’s affecting more European music-makers, hence GESAC’s concerns.

It explained yesterday that buy-outs “are typically imposed directly by giant non-EU based video-on-demand platforms or through their local producers and deprive composers of soundtracks of series, films or other audiovisual works of appropriate and proportionate remuneration, as well as the exercise of their moral rights, against the provisions of EU and national laws”.

The report adopted by committees in the European Parliament yesterday, it added, “calls on the European Commission to propose the necessary measures to address such coercive and harmful practices of global players that try to bypass EU laws through choice of law and jurisdiction clauses”. GESAC is now urging the Parliament at large to back the committees’ position.

Its General Manager Véronique Desbrosses says: "An important step has been reached today with this strong call for a European action against buy-outs from the two technical committees of the European Parliament involved in the matter and we are thankful to them”.

“The creators' community relies on the European legislator to take the necessary measures to stop the unfairness in the market and ensure that global streamers comply with the EU rules and principles when they operate in Europe”, she goes on. “Retention of copyright and authors right within Europe is essential for the future of European creativity and economy and we look forward to the confirmation of this strong position of the European Parliament in the plenary vote".

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