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EU BILL STALLS

Despite support from Macca, the progress of the Copyright Directive in Europe stalled with today’s vote in parliament resulting in the bill being rejected in its current form. Members of European Parliament have voted to return to debate the legislation in September.

The bill lost out on moving forward by more than 40 votes, with 278 MEPs in favour, 318 against and 31 abstentions. The music business was very much in favour of the Directive, which had new rules over how online service providers treat copyrighted material and held promise of fixing the much-debated “value gap.” Those on the digital side of the story were fierce opponents, saying the Directive threatened freedom of expression.

The debate will now be reopened, giving MEPs more time to consider the proposals ahead of a plenary debate in September. Reps from the music business are remaining optimistic.

“This vote is a set-back but it is not the end,” said SACEM’s Secretary General David El Sayegh. “We will not be discouraged by today’s decision and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world, in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement with these platforms that will safeguard the future of the music industry.”

PRS for Music’s Chief Executive, Robert Ashcroft, added: “The vote showed that many MEPs across the various European political parties understand the importance of fixing the transfer of value and of a well-functioning market for copyright. We appreciate their support and hope that as we move forward to the plenary debate in September, more MEPs will recognise the unique opportunity to secure the EU’s creative industries.”

IMPALA’s Helen Smith said: “We are confident that in September the Parliament will reach a conclusion and secure a fair and sustainable internet. Platforms facilitate a unique relationship between artists and fans, and copyright reform should help rebalance the licensing framework around this.”

Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, concluded: “We respect the decision by MEPs to have a plenary discussion on the draft Copyright Directive. We will work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed Directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users and the technology sector.”

CISAC was a little more dispirited. President Jean Michel Jarre said, “Today is a great disappointment for millions of creators who have campaigned for years for the right to fair treatment and fair payment from giant internet platforms. It is incredibly disappointing that, having been ferociously lobbied by opponents using false arguments, the European Parliament has stopped short of supporting the fair rights of creators. Our fight will go on, for the future of our culture and for a fair, modern well-regulated Internet.”

Director General Gadi Oron said: “Today’s vote is a missed opportunity to fix one of the biggest problems in today’s digital market. It leaves an unfair situation in which the value of creative works , instead of benefitting their creators, is being used to enrich global technology platforms. CISAC will continue to campaign worldwide for a fair digital market for our members.”

 

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