European Union negotiations on the Copyright Directive have concluded with an agreement on the final text, which will now face a vote in the European Parliament and approval by the European Council.
In recent weeks, the measures in Article 13 - widely seen as beneficial for the music industry - looked under threat as progress stalled. But the Copyright Directive is now a step closer following a deal between France and Germany after a marathon discussion.
The agreed text says that commercial sites and apps must secure licences for copyrighted material uploaded by their users, as well as employing upload filters. The directive also enshrines the authors' and performers' right to "appropriate and proportionate remuneration".
“Today's agreement is a sign of our determination to set up a well-functioning digital single market that encourages the development of new content-based businesses in the interest of all European citizens,” said Valer Daniel Breaz, Romanian Minister for Culture and National Identity. “We will therefore unlock the opportunities of the digital world, both for creators, whose rights should be fully respected and for the European citizens, who should take advantage of the benefits brought by the Digital Single Market.”
Online platforms will finally have to pay authors a fair remuneration for the usage of their works
Following the conclusion of lengthy trilogue negotiations in Strasbourg. Dr Harald Heker, CEO of GEMA, said: “We welcome the agreement reached today between the EU institutions regarding copyright. Thanks to the Directive, online platforms will finally have to pay authors a fair remuneration for the usage of their works. This has been overdue for years. Nevertheless, the debate continues to include many pieces of misinformation. It is often ignored that the European Parliament and the member states have continuously developed the contents of the Directive further in intensive debates.
“The draft of the Directive that we now have in front of us imposes a higher level of responsibility onto the online platforms and strengthens the position of creators as well as internet users at the same time. For music authors, this would be an important step for which GEMA has been fighting for a long time. It is now up to the European Parliament to give green lights for a modern copyright.”
There has been intense lobbying against the measures by YouTube, which warned of “unintended consequences”.
The European Parliament is set to vote on the text in the spring.
But even rightsholders failed to agree among themselves on the measures. Last week the IFPI and IMPALA were among bodies who said the draft text should not proceed on the basis of the text the Council was looking at last week, but BASCA, the MMF, FAC and AIM hit back with a call to support the leglislation.
"It is critical not to allow the debate on some of the details to derail the overall intention of the legislation and we must fine-tune the wording to ensure it achieves what it was intended to do," said AIM CEO Paul Pacifico.
IMPALA executive chair Helen Smith clarified last week that the trade body supports the Copyright Directive but said “urgent action” was needed to ensure Article 13 achieved its original purpose.