PRS for Music Chief Executive responds to EU copyright reform
PRS for Music welcomes the EU Commission's copyright reform proposals
The European Commission has today published their Digital Single Market copyright reform proposals, including a Directive of the European Parliament and Council on copyright in the 'Digital Single Market’.
The proposed Directive, alongside the ‘Regulation of the European Parliament and Council laying down rules on the exercise of copyright and related rights applicable to certain online transmission of broadcasting organisations and the retransmission of television and radio programmes’, represent the European Commission’s efforts to modernise the copyright framework in order to further realise the European Digital Single Market.
In announcing this morning’s publications President Juncker stated “Artists and creators are our [Europe’s] crown jewels” going on to say “I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work.”
PRS for Music has championed the case for copyright reform to address the ‘transfer of value’ resulting from the ambiguity in the current legal framework. This ambiguity is enabling some online platforms, specifically user upload services, to generate vast revenues without fairly remunerating the creators, upon whose works their services depend.
PRS for Music welcomes the Commission’s recognition of the critical ‘transfer of value’ issue and we acknowledge the clear intention to redress the current imbalance of interests between user upload platforms and rightsholders. The law must clearly establish that those user upload platforms that provide search and other functionality, as distinct from being mere hosts of content, require a license from rightsholders. The European Commission’s proposed new copyright Directive provides the framework for this essential legal clarity.
Europe is our largest export market and, even outside of the European Union, its copyright framework will directly impact UK creator’s earnings. Therefore, we hope that the EU Parliament and Council will grasp this opportunity to establish a functioning, digital single market - as this is in the interests of all concerned: creators, consumers and platforms, new and established.
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.