'The value gap jeopardises the music ecosystem': Paul McCartney leads last-ditch appeal on EU vote

'The value gap jeopardises the music ecosystem': Paul McCartney leads last-ditch appeal on EU vote

Sir Paul McCartney has joined more than 1,300 artists in urging MEPs to vote in support of the EU Copyright Directive mandate and the crucial measures in Article 13.

The former Beatle has added his voice alongside the likes of James Blunt, Placido Domingo, Max Martin and Imelda May in an appeal to legislators in the EU Parliament ahead of the July 5 vote. The directive recently passed its committee stage – a vote welcomed by industry organisations including IMPALA, CISAC, PRS For Music, UK Music and AIM.

The IFPI released the McCartney letter today as part of a concerted effort from the industry as the culmination of campaign against the so-called value gap. The industry has been calling for reform to licensing of user-generated content for video upload sites such as YouTube for several years.

“Music and culture matter,” wrote McCartney. “They are our heart and soul. But they don’t just happen: they demand the hard work of so many people. Importantly, music also creates jobs and economic growth and digital innovation across Europe.”

He added: “Unfortunately, the value gap jeopardises the music ecosystem. We need an internet that is fair and sustainable for all. But today some User Upload Content platforms refuse to compensate artists and all music creators fairly for their work, while they exploit it for their own profit. The value gap is the gulf between the value these platforms derive from music and the value they pay creators.

“The proposed Copyright Directive and its Article 13 would address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators, fans and digital music services alike.” 

The measures have met with opposition among ‘open’ internet campaigners, including Stephen Fry who said it would leave creators “vulnerable to censorship in copyright’s name”.

Italy Wikipedia blocked readers today in protest at the proposals.

“If the proposal is approved, it may be impossible to share a newspaper article on social networks or find it on a search engine," it said.

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