News March 27, 2019

European copyright reforms end Value Gap: “It will have a ripple effect worldwide”

European copyright reforms end Value Gap: “It will have a ripple effect worldwide”

Copyright reforms in the has meant a triumph for record labels, publishers, songwriters and artists in the 27 EU countries– and could spark moves to greater intellectual property changes in other regions including Australia.

The main change is that services that rely on user-generated content (USG) like now have to agree on “fair remuneration” license deals with rights holders and makes them legally liable for hosting unlicensed content.

Effectively this ends the safe harbour immunity that copyright agencies in other countries, including Australia, have fought against.

It finally means that creators will be paid properly for their work and now get clout and transparency when they do licensing and commercial deals with these platforms.

ICMP, the global trade body for music publishing, estimates, “YouTube pays approximately 20 times less, per user per year, than a fairly licensed service such as .”

USG services have long argued that it is simply impossible for them to detect copyright infringement on their platforms.

300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Almost 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day.

The copyright reforms do not spell out to USG services on how they should now filter out shaded content.

Gadi Oron director general of CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers called it a “hugely important achievement” that will “lead the way for countries outside the EU to follow.”

Helen Smith, executive chair of IMPALA, also predicted, “It will have a ripple effect worldwide.”

“This world-first legislation confirms that User-Upload Content platforms perform an act of communication to the public and must either seek authorisation from rightsholders or ensure no unauthorised content is available on their platforms,” said Frances Moore, CEO of international labels trade body IFPI.

YouTube parent Google, which reportedly spent millions of euros on lobbying the changes warned it would “lead to legal uncertainty and will hurt Europe’s creative and digital economies.”

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