The Copyright Directive is now a step closer after a text was agreed in Strasbourg after lengthy trilogue negotiations. Germany and France had been at odds over the legislation but ultimately reached a compromise.
Helen Smith, IMPALA executive chair, said: “We need to see the final text, but this legislation will be the first time anywhere in the world that there is absolute confirmation that user upload services are covered by copyright and need a licence. In line with the WIN fair digital deals declaration adopted over three years ago, IMPALA also supports the provisions in the directive on transparency and remuneration for authors and performers.”
Member states and the European Parliament will need to approve the final text in the spring.
While the agreed text has not been released, the EU said that it will mean commercial services must secure licences for copyrighted material uploaded by their users. The directive also enshrines the authors' and performers' right to “appropriate and proportionate remuneration”.
The text also includes special rules for start-ups and certain non-commercial operators.
YouTube has previously warned of “unintended consequences” from the Article 13 measures affecting user-generated content.
While trade bodies from the music industry - including the IFPI and AIM, as well as BASCA, the FAC, and MMF - and other sectors have been at odds over previous versions of the text, Smith was hopeful that the compromise would do the job.
Smith said: "The EU institutions have done a great job reaching this compromise in time. Last week we raised the alarm on the risks of moving ahead without improvements to the text and we understand these concerns were heard. All those who contributed their views, whatever side of the debate they are on, played an important role. There are a few more steps before this reform becomes law and we count on all sectors to unite in support of this balanced text and ensure it is finally adopted.”
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico joined IMPALA in welcoming the significant progress towards getting Article 13 enshrined in law.
“We are pleased and relieved to hear that the EU has achieved an effective and well-balanced version of the Copyright Directive and would like to thank the EU Parliamentarians, member states, institutions and committees for all of their hard work in making this possible," said Pacifico. "Reports indicate that the final draft agreed last night in trilogue demonstrates that opinions from all sides have been heard, expertly weighed and incorporated to deliver a strong workable compromise text that enables the market to function fairly and more effectively in the digital age and therefore better protect the creatives at the heart of European culture and its creative industries.”
Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, added: “After five years of hard work, the news that we have a final text is a welcome relief for all involved. This Directive has generated an unprecedented level of debate and a wave of misinformation from the open internet lobby, so I commend all of those who have battled through it to arrive at a text to put to the European Parliament.
“Our mission has only ever been to achieve a fair and functioning digital market and, as a result, fair reward for creators. Subject to final scrutiny of the text and the forthcoming vote in Parliament it looks today as though we are going to achieve our aim.”
The UK Council Of Music Makers - comprising BASCA, FAC, MMF, MPG and the MU – said: “The CMM commends the positive progress made on this vital piece of legislation for music makers. Music makers bring untold joy and entertainment to the masses. They are significant contributors to culture, as well as providing a grand boost to the economy beyond most other sectors.
“The CMM believes that the full package of the proposed EU Copyright Directive as a whole aims to support our community, modernise the industry, encourage a healthier market with fairness and transparency, and promote a sustainable, innovative, balanced music business with music makers at its heart. This ambition is vital in ensuring music makers are clearly and adequately remunerated for their work.
“We have supported the positive activity of our UK and European counterparts on this matter and lobbied at home and in Brussels, to ensure that our message is heard on the importance of the Copyright Directive as an opportunity to modernise the laws and commercial landscape governing how music makers get paid and how fans engage with music.”