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Music industry comments on copyright directive ruling 

By | Published on Friday 6 July 2018

European Commission

The European Parliament yesterday voted down the latest draft of the new European Copyright Directive, which had previously been passed by the Parliament’s own JURI Committee. It was the music industry’s favourite proposal in the directive, the safe harbour reforming article thirteen, that proved most controversial in the run up to the vote. The tech lobby got very active late in the day shouting to anyone who would listen about how articles eleven and thirteen together would ‘break the internet’.

Yesterday’s vote means that the latest round of European copyright reform will now need more debate in September. And whereas previous discussions around the draft copyright directive – as put together by the European Commission in 2016 – have taken place in relevant committees within the Parliament, this time every single MEP will be able to join in. So that will be fun.

Meanwhile, a long line of reps for the music community lined up yesterday to comment on the big vote in the European Parliament. It was a missed opportunity, don’t you know? Misinformation, misinformation, misinformation! But you know what? Onwards and upwards, we’re sure all those MEPs will vote the right way in the autumn.

That’s the basic gist of the music industry’s position. But for fans of quotes, here’s a bunch more in addition to the remarks from IMPALA, GESAC, BPI and PRS which we published shortly after the vote yesterday.

Jean Michel Jarre, President of global song right collecting society grouping CISAC: “Today is a great disappointment for millions of creators who have campaigned for years for the right to fair treatment and fair payment from giant internet platforms. It is incredibly disappointing that, having been ferociously lobbied by opponents using false arguments, the European Parliament has stopped short of supporting the fair rights of creators. Our fight will go on, for the future of our culture and for a fair, modern well-regulated internet”.

Gadi Oron, Director General of CISAC: “Today’s vote is a missed opportunity to fix one of the biggest problems in today’s digital market. It leaves an unfair situation in which the value of creative works, instead of benefitting their creators, is being used to enrich global technology platforms. CISAC will continue to campaign worldwide for a fair digital market for our members”.

David El Sayegh, Secretary General of French collecting society SACEM: “This vote is a set-back but it is not the end. SACEM remains dedicated to ensuring that creators are recognised and remunerated for the value of their work. We will not be discouraged by today’s decision and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world, in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement with these platforms that will safeguard the future of the music industry. We are confident that the European Parliament will eventually support a framework that fully acknowledges the rights of creators in the digital landscape of the 21st Century”.

Crispin Hunt, Chair of the British Academy Of Songwriters, Composers and Authors: “While we are disappointed that the campaign of misinformation has undermined the vote on article thirteen, we can be emboldened by the strength of voice and argument coming from across the creative community. Thousands of songwriters, authors and composers, large and small, are standing united to fight for fair compensation for the use of their copyright on the internet. This issue will not go away and the fight will continue. We call on all music creators to join us as we campaign ahead of the next debate in September”.

Paul Pacifico, CEO of the UK’s Association Of Independent Music: “It is a shame not to have got resolution for performers and songwriters in today’s committee vote on the JURI text. However, it is right that such an important and complex issue be given full consideration by parliament in a second reading. I remain optimistic that the European Parliament will cut through the fake news and massive lobbying spend by big tech and support creators by voting in favour of a diverse and level playing field for artists and culture for the future”.

Annabella Coldrick, CEO of the UK’s Music Managers Forum: “It was disappointing that today’s vote didn’t go through. This would be an important stepping stone towards a properly functioning market, and we believe the proposal would increase the levers available to UK music makers to achieve fair, proportionate and transparent remuneration for the use of their music online. We will be working closely with our colleagues at UK Music and in the wider industry in the build up to the European Parliament’s vote on the directive in September”.

Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music: “This is a sad day for everyone involved in the creativity that is behind Britain’s world-leading music. It is desperately disappointing that a small majority of MEPs have backed Google’s shabby multi-million euro campaign of fake news and misinformation against creators. Frankly, in some cases MEPs were naive. In others cases, they have chosen to wilfully disregard the plight of creators. These proposals would make a real difference to our creators, to those that invest in them and to all of us who value our culture”.

“Google’s YouTube is the world’s most popular music platform, yet it deliberately chooses to return a pittance to those whose creativity it has built its multi-billion pound business model on. Google remain the vultures that feed off music creators. The fact remains that this must end. We sincerely thank the 278 MEPs who backed reform and look forward to engaging positively with all MEPs on the opportunities to develop the directive further. We may have lost this particular round, but the fight to ensure fairness for music creators goes on”.

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