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As copyright directive debates continue in Brussels, let’s shout “value gap” again


With lawmakers in Brussels nonetheless chit chatting aplenty regarding the draft new European Copyright Directive, and with a substantial amount of proposed amendments now on the desk, representatives from all through the copyright industries despatched a letter this week to the MEP foremost on all the factor in the European Parliament, Axel Voss. And what did they should say to the political man? “Value gap, value gap, value gap”. Of course!

The draft Copyright Directive has been in circulation for a 12 months now and there is a large stack of proposed amendments being thought-about. Various committees in the European Parliament have inputted, and all the factor goes again sooner than the licensed committee, aka JURI, this month. Voss was solely appointed as a result of the ‘rapporteur’ foremost Parliament’s overview of the copyright proposals earlier this summer season, stepping in for Comodini Cachia, who hand over her seat in the European Parliament to hitch the legislature in her home nation Malta.

From a music perspective, there are three articles of curiosity in the draft directive: these masking protected harbour, transparency and contract adjustment. Though it’s the earlier that has obtained most likely essentially the most consideration, and it’s that which featured in this week’s letter from organisations representing the music, movie, broadcasting, e-book, and soccer sectors. You know, YouTube and the fucking value gap.

States the letter to Voss: “We very much appreciate your acknowledgement of the critical issue of the ‘value gap’ which is hampering the growth and potential of our sectors. This situation is caused by inconsistent application and unfaithful interpretation of the European copyright rules by some digital platforms. [User-uploaded Content] platforms have become major distributors of creative works – all while refusing to negotiate fair copyright licences, if at all, with the right holders”.

The copyright tips being “inconsistently applied” and “unfaithfully interpreted” primarily relate to the pesky protected harbour, in reality, that being the principle that claims an internet agency simply is not liable when its clients use its servers and networks to infringe copyright, providing it presents copyright owners some kind of content material materials takedown system.

The music commerce argues that user-upload web sites like YouTube must in no way have been lined by the protected harbour, which was meant for internet service suppliers and server web internet hosting companies. But by claiming protected harbour security, the likes of YouTube have a lots sturdy negotiating hand when trying to find licences from file companies and music publishers, meaning they get lots higher fees than the audio streaming suppliers they compete with, meaning the music commerce makes a lot much less money. Hence the price gap.

It’s hoped that the protected harbour provision in the copyright directive will put additional obligations onto user-upload web sites like YouTube. “We believe that the European Commission’s proposal [in the directive] provides an effective basis for a fair and meaningful solution to this issue”, the copyright groups’ letter continued this week.

And, they added, “support for robustly addressing the value gap is reflected in an overwhelming majority of amendments in several of the relevant European Parliament committees, particularly in JURI, as well as the opinions adopted [by the culture and industry committees]”. Though, the letter went on, they weren’t so impressed with proposals made by the Parliament’s shopper security committee which, they talked about, would “exacerbate rather than solve the value gap problem”.

The letter muses on thus: “A meaningful legislative solution to remove the distortion undermining Europe’s creative content market must clarify … that platforms that store and provide access to copyright protected content uploaded (or displayed) by their users: undertake copyright relevant acts (ie communication to the public and as the case may be reproduction); and cannot benefit from the ‘safe harbour’ … because they play an active role by, for instance, promoting such content or optimising the presentation of it”.

“Without clarification of the two points outlined above”, the letter concludes, “there will be no solution for the producers and creators of European creative content. The creative sectors seek a fair digital market, one in which the participants can operate with legal certainty and on a level playing field”. It’s hoped, say the copyright owners, that the protected harbour clause of the model new directive “stops free-riding by certain platforms and brings long-sought fairness for creators and creative industries”. Which looks as if pleasurable.

Music our our bodies signing the letter embrace worldwide file labels group IFPI, European indie label repping IMPALA, the International Confederation Of Music Publishers, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, and CISAC and GESAC representing the songwriter amassing societies.

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