A range of institutions representing rightsholders has issued a plea to the Eurpoean Union policy to improve the wording of the European Copyright Directive. These include institutions representing music, publishing, and film businesses.

This brand new cross-industry open letter follows a previous warning from the Universal parent company, Vivendi as well as other companies in December 2018. The then-latest draft edition of the recent Copyright Directive were a let-down for rightsholders around the environment.

In September 2018, many western Parliamentatians analyzed The European Parliament Directive. Since then, it became a subject of fierce disagreement between online firms and the audio market.

Twelve businesses gathered in order to create the current correspondence. These businesses include IMPALA (European Association of Independent Music Businesses) as well as the IFPI, which reflects the worldwide music business. In any case, they concluded that the controversial Article 13 clause over the Directive requires “pressing fluctuations in vital areas.”

Controversy surrounding Article 13

The wording of Article 13 calls for the legal accountability of user content-reliant websites like YouTube for copyright-infringing material uploaded by their own users.

Previously, Back in November 2018, YouTube’s International Head of Music composed an op/ed indicating that Article 13 may mean less money to musicians and songwriters on YouTube.

The album industry reacted by claiming that YouTube was publishing “carpet bombing propaganda” about Article 13.

About Article 13

On Friday, January 11, the European Parliament stated that the draft directive intends to oblige giant internet platforms and news aggregators (like YouTube or GoogleNews) to pay content creators (artists/musicians/actors and journalists) what they truly owe them. They also state that they are not creating any new rights or obligations. To further emphasize this, they also stated that current legal and permitted sharing will remain legal.

“An artist will typically have notified platforms like YouTube that a specific work is theirs. Works for which the rights-holder is unknown are therefore unlikely to engage a platform’s liability if they are uploaded there.

Stated Goal

Ultimately, the purpose of Article 13 is to offer artists more control over the use of their work. When somebody uses or distributes their work, artists will have more legal options. Therefore, they can invoke their rights to get a fair reimbursement much more easily.

The Letter

You can read the full text of the latest letter below:

With the final trilogue only days away, European creatives and rightsholders urgently inform EU policymakers that the 13 January draft text of the proposed Copyright Directive does not meet the original objective of Article 13 and urgently requires significant changes.

After years of hard work, the Copyright Directive is at a very critical point. The 13 January proposed text circulated by the Romanian Presidency falls below the standard of the three texts produced by the three European Institutions and would not be an acceptable outcome of the negotiations.

The European Union cannot miss this unique opportunity to achieve one of the key objectives of the European Commission proposal, which was to correct the distortion of the digital market place caused by User Upload Content (UUC) services.

Therefore, the undersigned call on negotiators to urgently make substantial changes to the 13 January proposal by the Romanian Presidency in order to get the Directive back on the right track.

Yours sincerely, the undersigned.

CEPI – European Coordination of Independent Producers

EPC – European Publishers Council.

EUROCINEMA – Representing the interests of film and television producers to the European Union.

EUROCOPYA – European movie and television producers’ collecting societies in charge of private copy.

FEP – Federation of European Publishers.

FIAD – International Federation of Film Distributors’ Association.

IAO – International Artist Organisation.

ICMP – The global voice of music publishing.

IFPI – Representing the music industry worldwide.

IMPALA – European association of independent music companies.

IMPF – Independent Music Publishers International Forum.

STM – Leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers.

Further Information

For EDM Business and more on Electronic Dance Music check out OneEDM.

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