MEPs call for a level playing field on copyright for online platforms
MEPs advocate for copyright liability of online platforms in order to remove distortions in the digital market and to provide better conditions for creators and consumers.
In light of the upcoming copyright reform, 58 MEPs sent an open letter urging the European Commission to put an end to the transfer of value currently taking place at the expense of creators, and called for a legal clarification of the liability regime for online platforms.
More creative content is being consumed today than ever before on services like user-uploaded content platforms and content aggregation services. Yet most of these services provide extremely low remunerations or outright refuse to pay authors. The letter, signed by 58 MEPs, explains that “[t]he upcoming copyright reform should make clear that liability exemptions can only apply to genuinely neutral and passive online service providers, and not to services that play an active role in distributing, promoting and monetising content at the expense of creators.”
The President of GESAC, Christophe Depreter, called the letter “an important signal to the Commission that the political will is there, and that the transfer of value issue needs to be dealt with urgently”.
GESAC applauds this initiative launched by MEPs Pervenche Berès, Christian Ehler and Martina Dlabajova of the Creative and Cultural Industries Intergroup that asks the Commission to clearly put creators and consumers at the centre of the upcoming review of the copyright Directive.
In a reaction to the letter, Polish film director Agnieszka Holland said she was “encouraged to see so many Members of the European Parliament identify the critical problem of fair remuneration online that creators are faced with” and hoped to “see meaningful changes from European decision-makers before the end of the year”.
Although the Commission has consistently noted that it wishes to tackle the transfer of value problem in the copyright reform, it is crucial to keep the issue high on the agenda, considering the relentless efforts of certain internet giants to water down any initiative that could lead to re-balancing this problem towards ensuring fairer conditions for creators and the entire European Digital Single Market.
About PRS for Music
PRS for Music represents the rights of over 155,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers in the UK and around the world. On behalf of its members, it works to grow and protect the value of their rights and ensure that creators are paid transparently and efficiently whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. In 2020, 22.4 trillion performances of music were reported to PRS for Music, with £699m paid out in royalties to its members, making it one of the world’s leading music collective management organisations.
PRS for Music’s public performance licensing is now carried out on PRS for Music’s behalf by PPL PRS Ltd, the joint venture between PPL and PRS for Music.