'We want a reasonable partnership': BASCA adds weight to Copyright Directive lobbying

BASCA

The British Society Of Songwriters, Composers And Authors has joined the calls for the European Parliament to vote for the reworded Copyright Directive.

BASCA chair Crispin Hunt has written an open letter to MEPs, who will have the final vote on the Directive at the end of this month. It comes hot on the heels of a similar plea from over 200 rights-holders organisations, led by European indies body IMPALA.

Last-minute lobbying has also continued on the other side of the debate, with YouTube's global head of music Lyor Cohen weighing in and Google’s chief legal counsel, Kent Walker, making a rare public statement attacking the Directive’s controversial Article 13.

Hunt, however, is more conciliatory in his letter, which calls for “a reasonable partnership with the companies that distribute our work”, although he warns: “A reasonable partnership should be based on accountability and shared responsibilities, not unilateral takings.”

You can read the full text of Hunt’s letter below:

“Dear Members of the European Parliament,

We, music creators, are fundamentally open to the changes of the world. We defend freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the freedom to innovate more passionately than anyone. Sharing new ideas and connecting with people is our raison d’être. But our livelihoods and the cultural livelihoods of future generations of creators is at risk.

Our human right, to benefit from “the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which [we are] the author”, is being disingenuously conflated into a pitched battle for the soul of “freedom”. This is a false prospectus. Copyright is not about censorship or monopoly, it’s simply about consent, integrity and respect for others work. With incentives, technology can deliver both fairness and liberty.

We want nothing more than a reasonable partnership with the companies that distribute our work, but a reasonable partnership should be based on accountability and shared responsibilities, not unilateral takings. We believe the Copyright Directive before you now will help build an online future that encourages commercial innovation, whilst allowing creative innovation to flourish by sharing more fairly in the value it generates.

We are immensely grateful to every MEP who has supported this directive against unprecedented odds. Thank you for understanding that Copyright is not ‘Hollywood’s’ or ‘Silicon Valley’s’ right to fight over, it is every individual’s right to trade in their creativity. A right that should be upheld online as well as off.

We see the internet as the only force that might unify and bind the globe, but it has somehow failed to deliver on its once beautiful promise of opportunity for all. We hope democracy will now help it keep that promise.

Please vote for the Directive in full. The future of European Culture is in your hands. Please don’t drop it.”

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