European Music Industry Presses Brussels To Solve “Value Gap” From User Uploads 30/06/2016 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)More than 1,000 recording artists and songwriters from Europe, and artists who regularly perform there, have urged the European Commission to stop the “value gap” created by user upload services such as Google’s YouTube from “siphoning value away” from the music community. Google, however, said digital services aren’t the problem, and that greater transparency on royalties is needed. Paul McCartney The 29 June letter to EC President Jean-Claude Juncker was coordinated by the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI) and IMPALA, which represents indie music companies, and is supported by GESAC, which represents European authors and composers, IFPI said. Signatories include stars such as Carole King, Coldplay, Don Henley, Sir Paul McCartney and IFPI Chairman Plácido Domingo. The value gap caused by services such as YouTube isn’t just hurting today’s artists and songwriters, but “threatens the survival of the next generation of creators too,” the letter said. The situation undermines the rights and revenues of those who create, invest in and own music, and distorts the market, it said. “This is because, while music consumption is at record highs, user upload services are misusing ‘safe harbour’ exemptions,” it said. Those protections were put in place two decades ago to help develop new digital start-ups, “but today are being misapplied to corporations that distribute and monetise our works.” The most efficient way to address the problem is through legislation that clarifies the current copyright regime, IMPALA said. The independent music sector is committed to sharing the value with artists, but platforms must play fair as well pay fair, it said. Indie releases account for over 80% of all new releases in Europe, so it’s essential that the EU ensure that platforms can’t discriminate against artists, it said. Google Calls for Greater Royalty Transparency “Digital services are not the enemy,” a Google spokesperson told Intellectual Property Watch. YouTube works collaboratively with the music industry to bring more money to artists beyond the $3 billion it’s already paid out, said the spokesperson. The “overwhelming majority of labels and publishers have licensing agreements” with YouTube and choose to leave fan uploads on the platform and earn money from them 95 percent of the time, he said. Google’s rights management system, ContentID, “goes above and beyond what the law requires to help rights owners manage their content on YouTube, with fan uploads driving 50 percent of their YouTube revenue today,” the letter said. “Ultimately we believe that by providing more transparency into payouts to artists we can address many of these concerns.” “The Commission is looking into this value gap as part of its ongoing efforts to modernise EU copyright rules,” a spokeswoman said. At a May press briefing, EC Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the digital single market, noted musicians’ complaints about the value gap, saying, “some platforms based on subscription, they have 140 million subscribers per month; they’re contributing 1.6 billion euros to musicians. There are some other platforms supported by advertising – they have 1 billion contacts per month, but they are contributing just 0.6 million euros to musicians,” leading artists to say they’re unfairly remunerated. The EC said on 9 December 2015 that it will gauge whether the benefits of online use of works is fairly shared, and whether EU-level solutions are needed to increase legal certainty, transparency and balance in the system that governs remuneration of authors and performers in the EU. That review offers a “unique opportunity” to address the problem, the artists’ letter said. The next proposals related to copyright modernisation are expected to be unveiled in the fall, the EC spokeswoman said. Image Credits: BBC Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Dugie Standeford may be reached at email@example.com."European Music Industry Presses Brussels To Solve “Value Gap” From User Uploads" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.