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Dear fellow performers – an open letter on performer remuneration from streaming

By | Published on Wednesday 14 July 2021

A group of performers from across Europe – all of whom back the pan-European PayPerformers campaign – have published an open letter in response to the letter recently sent by 230+ British music-makers to the UK government calling for the performer ER principle to be applied to the making available element of the sound recording copyright, and therefore to streaming. The new open letter is as follows…

Dear Fellow Performers,

We have heard your cry for change in the UK, a call to your government that resonates deeply with us performers throughout the European Union. We face a similar plight – our music, TV shows and films getting played on streaming and downloading services throughout the world and yet most of us not earning anything from our work. As you highlight in your letter to Prime Minister Johnson, we live in a regulatory framework that has not adapted to the digital age, and which has failed to protect us as it has in the past with radio or TV broadcasting.

You have called for “lawful and fair treatment of music makers”, a request that was heard by lawmakers in the EU back in 2019 when they approved of the new Copyright Directive. Indeed, its article eighteen states that authors and performers, in the musical and audiovisual sector, are “entitled to receive appropriate and proportionate remuneration”.

Our campaign has made significant progress in ensuring that this right is successfully implemented in some member states, most recently in Germany. Nonetheless, we continue our fight to make sure governments are providing a specific and adequate enough regulatory framework. We do not trust the system to adapt to our demands organically and are pushing governments to face front-on the struggles we are currently living.

As you are now, we are also calling for our national governments to make us a priority, as they have with producers and entrepreneurs in the past. To that effect, we believe the best solution to the current system’s imbalance is a collectively managed and unwaivable remuneration right collected from the streaming and downloading platforms.

Such a system would unlock a new revenue channel for us and ensure that we will be paid for our work played. It is the system that we want because we know that this system guarantees payment independent from our weak bargaining positions.

Not only has this mechanism already proven to be successful in Spain, but as you might have seen, it has also been highlighted in the latest WIPO report on streaming as the best solution to our plight.

Performers are the backbone of the cultural and creative sectors in the UK as well as in the European Union. We stand with you in your demands and assure that, cross-Channel, we will fight by your side to ensure we, performers, can live from our art.

Yours Sincerely
Johan Van Assche (Belgium)
Laura Groeseneken (Belgium)
Piet Maris (Belgium)
Mirela Priselac (Croatia)
Christoffer Semelius (Denmark)
Reigo Ahven (Estonia)
Franck Vigoux (France)
Grigoris Lambrianidis (Greece)
Kornel Horvath (Hungary)
Mundy (Ireland)
Gilbert O’Sullivan (Ireland)
Tore Ostby (Norway)
Andrei Tudor (Romania)
Katarina Cas (Slovenia)
Sebastian Cavazza (Slovenia)
Nacho Garcia Vega (Spain)
Helena Stjernstrom (Sweden)
Mattias Bylund (Sweden)