UK music makers hit back at Copyright Directive claims

UK music makers hit back at Copyright Directive claims

UK music makers have joined with a global network of music creators to call on negotiators to proceed with the Copyright Directive.

The move follows last night's statement signed by music organisations ICMP, IFPI and IMPALA, which said the current draft no longer met the original objectives and should no longer proceed in its current form.

In an open letter from the UK Council of Music Makers (CMM), comprising BASCA, Featured Artists Coalition, Music Managers Forum, MPG and the Musicians' Union, has hit back at those claims. 

"While the current text could be improved and still includes some problematic provisions, it is a compromise," it states. "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.

"Like YouTube, they have lobbied negotiators hard without consulting or informing the creative community. Heavy-handed tactics of heavyweight businesses."  

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

UK Council of Music Makers

The European Parliament voted to accept the Article 13 digital copyright reforms last September, a move that was warmly welcomed by the music industry.

Its approval meant the EU's three main institutions, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Council, could begin to discuss digital copyright together.

The full CMM letter reads as follows: 

We are the voice of UK songwriters, music producers, performing artists, musicians and music managers. We speak on behalf of thousands of makers of the music this ‘industry’ represents.  We speak with one voice with all the creator-led organisations across Europe and around the world in supporting the Copyright Directive.

While the current text could be improved and still includes some problematic provisions, it is a compromise. At every step of this process the creative community has sought compromise and been open to dialogue.

Most creators and artists in the UK struggle to make a living from music. Without this Directive, creators will be entirely deprived of any means to get a fair remuneration in the online environment: the market will be entirely driven by the commercial interests of free-riding tech giants. This would be a fundamental failure for European policy-making and the functioning of our democracy, as it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the unfair and manipulative practices of some tech giants that refuse any responsibility.

We make the music that people want to listen to and buy. It is our intellectual property and our rights and we need the Copyright Directive to put in place reasonable and fair safeguards.

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. Like YouTube, they have lobbied negotiators hard without consulting or informing the creative community. Heavy-handed tactics of heavyweight businesses.  

It is sad to see labels and publishers turn on their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to halt the Directive not only because of the latest wording of Article 13 but because they want to avoid the improvements to transparency and fairness that the Articles 14-16 bring. 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. We have worked in tandem with UK Music and colleagues across the industry to find compromise and solutions that enable legislation to pass. This Directive will affect future generations of creators and performers whose interests need protecting beyond the interests of current models.                 

We have been engaged and willing to negotiate, and we remain engaged and progressing in good faith, with both tech and industry. We have not given up on this important legislation.

We call on UK Government and UK Music to support the adoption of the Copyright Directive.

GESAC, which represents more than one million creators from all sectors through its 32 members from across the EU and EEA, has also expressed its support.

"The Directive as a whole—and in particular the provisions in Article 13—creates the long sought after level playing field for creative content in the online market," it said. "It also addresses the major unfairness caused by the enormous 'transfer of value' that favours free-riding tech giants, while it also incentivises European creation, innovation, and investment.

"The current text is a compromise that goes into the right direction, although further improvements still need to be achieved. 

"Without this Directive, creators will be entirely deprived of any means to get a fair remuneration in the online environment: the market will be entirely driven by the commercial interests of free-riding tech giants. This would be a fundamental failure for European policy-making and the functioning of our democracy, as it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the unfair and manipulative practices of tech giants that refuse any rules or oversight." 

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