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News February 10, 2019

Music business battles itself over EU Copyright Directive: is nothing better than a bad deal?

Staff Writer
Music business battles itself over EU Copyright Directive: is nothing better than a bad deal?

The music business is at loggerheads on how to proceed with the European Copyright Directive.

Last September, the European Parliament voted through a draft version of the Directive.

It meant that the biz had won the battle to make user-upload services like YouTube and Facebook be responsible for copyright infringement on their platforms (Section 13) and force tech companies to stop their news services linking items to traditional publishers’ sites without paying them.

However this year when it came to a vote, eleven of the 27 countries refused to vote for the changes in their original form because they were “too regimented.”

They wanted the Directive text to be rewritten and, in essence, dilute them.

Cracks began when ten trade groups sent a letter asking that work stop on the Directive.

The collective letter read: “Far from levelling the playing field, the proposed approach would cause serious harm by not only failing to meet its objectives, but actually risking leaving European producers, distributors and creators worse off.

“Regrettably, under these conditions, we would rather have no Directive at all than a bad Directive.”

The UK Council of Music Makers (CMM) hit back at the claims.

It comprises the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), Music Managers Forum, Music Producers Guild (MPG) and the Musicians’ Union.

It responded, “It is hugely disappointing to see the music labels and publishers disregard the interests of their creators and artists in this way.

“They are trying to overturn years of collaborative work at the 11th hour by killing the Copyright Directive.”

It said that years of dialogue over copyright changes had been about compromise, and pointed out the music and tech businesses needed to continue discussions.

“We are saddened that the short-term commercial interests of these companies can be put before modernisation of copyright legislation that will benefit the whole industry.

“The labels and publishers have shown an unsettling disrespect for the talent that they have the privilege of representing, raising serious questions about their suitability to be the custodians of copyright.”


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