IMPALA has called upon the European Commission to ensure platforms pay rights holders fairly, after it published today its mid-term review of the digital single market.
The report aims to evaluate the progress made at the midpoint and sets out a number of new policies.
Proposals on copyright and geo-blocking are going through the legislative process, while areas such as the responsibility of online platforms, are still in the pipeline.
"These are areas where Europe can take the lead worldwide, “ said IMPALA chief Helen Smith. “Recalibrating the digital market is vital for independent music companies who are at its forefront and account for 80% of all new music releases.”
By the end of the year, it is expected that the Commission will table far-reaching proposals tackling online platforms and their conduct towards smaller players.
"Unfair trading practices have become commonplace in the online environment,” Smith added. “There is a ‘power gap’ that distorts competition – it needs to be addressed and we hope the Commission’s upcoming proposals in this area will be up to the task”.
Smith also highlighted the value gap and ensuring the independents can continue to take risks and pay artists fairly as key priorities for IMPLA: “We believe the Commission set out a balanced approach by clarifying the status of platforms actively distributing copyrighted works. It should not be watered-down, for example with an exception for user-generated content that would be a step back in time.”
Highlighting the importance of the independent sector’s commitment to artists, Smith added: “The independents are already leading the way with their voluntary initiatives such as the WIN Fair Digital Deals Declaration. Being heavy handed with contract adjustment clauses or introducing a new remuneration right for performers would cut across our own measures and undermine the ability of independent music companies to invest in artists and music.”
She concluded: “A strong digital single market will establish the best conditions for creators and their partners to work across borders. Creation must be at the heart of Europe’s digital strategy. Making Europe the intellectual property capital of the world with a healthy distortion-free licensing environment is key to a successful and inclusive digital market.”