UK Music’s deputy CEO Tom Kiehl has written an open letter addressing the Government’s latest comment on the Copyright Directive.
As we reported last week, a debate among MPs celebrated the success of the UK music industry, but also saw parliamentarians raise concerns about issues including grassroots venues, copyright, music education, exports, tax breaks and, of course, Brexit. The 90-minute debate was dominated by opposition MPs.
The government response by Nigel Adams, Minister Of State for Sport, Media & Creative Industries, sparked lively debate. Adams signalled continued support for the MEGS export programme, confirmed the revising of music education and welcomed submissions on tax relief for the music sector. A Brexiteer, Adams also voiced support for the measures in the Copyright Directive.
“We support the overall aims of the Copyright Directive, but our imminent departure from the EU means we’re not required to implement the Copyright Directive in full,” he said. “It’s absolutely imperative we do everything possible to protect our brilliant creators, as well as the rights of users who consume music. I look forward to working with the music industry to make sure that we achieve this. I will work to make sure we work to stop the exploitation of our artists here in the UK.”
Today, in an open letter, UK Music’s deputy CEO Tom Kiehl voiced his disappointment, and requested an urgent meeting with Chris Skidmore MP to discuss the matter.
“If it is the case that Brexit presents an opportunity for the UK to write its own laws, then there is no excuse for a delay to our existing call for the Government to set out a road map outlining how it intends to take forward its support for the Directive’s key proposals,” wrote Kiehl.
MMF CEO Annabella Coldrick said: “For advocates of Brexit, the UK’s departure from the EU was supposed to provide clarity and certainty. Unfortunately, only days before January 31, the UK’s artists, songwriters, musicians and producers now find themselves faced with the reverse.
"The Copyright Directive is about much more than ‘the value gap’, it has potential to recalibrate IP legislation for the benefit of those who contribute most to the success of British music. It is vital that the entire package is enacted, and MMF will now look to pick up discussions with Government to take this discussion forward, as well as our friends and colleagues in the Council of Music Makers and UK Music.”
You can read the letter from UK Music in full below
I am writing on behalf of UK Music in response to your statement of 21 January that the Government has no plans to implement the Copyright Directive and would like to request an urgent meeting with you to discuss the matter.
Your statement is extremely disappointing, in particular for the many music creators across the country who have campaigned for the Directive over a number of years. The Directive is designed to improve the way creators in the music industry and those that invest in them are financially rewarded.
The UK’s world-leading music industry is worth £5.2 billion to the economy, generates export revenues of £2.7 billion and employs over 190,000 people but we can only maintain growth if we take advantage of the opportunities provided by the changes in the Copyright Directive.
Google-owned YouTube currently pay creators significantly less than the real value to them. Failing to implement the core principles of the Directive would let Google off the hook and mean creators continue to get a raw deal.
Creative Industries Minister Nigel Adams told MPs in a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday “we support the overall aims of the ?Copyright Directive”. However, a plan must be in place to achieve these aims, otherwise Government support for the proposals appears weak.
We understand that the UK’s imminent departure from the EU presents challenges to taking forward the Directive in its current form. However, the Government should not lose sight of the fact that it played a key role in developing and agreeing to the many necessary provisions within the Directive.
If it is the case that Brexit presents an opportunity for the UK to write its own laws, then there is no excuse for a delay to our existing call for the Government to set out a road map outlining how it intends to take forward its support for the Directive’s key proposals.
I look forward to your response and hope you will give your urgent consideration to the legislative mechanisms available to ensure we do everything possible to protect our brilliant creators.
Deputy CEO, UK Music