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EU APPROVES COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE

The EU Copyright Directive will now move forward to the implementation stage after the majority of Members of the European Parliament voted to approve the bill in a plenary vote today. YouTube will soon be required to secure licenses from rights holders.

There were 348 votes for, 274 against and 36 abstentions, resulting in a win of 52%.

Once ratified by the EU28 in the Council of the EU in coming weeks, it becomes law when published in the EU Official Journal. This triggers a 24-month deadline for governments to transpose it nationally.

It means that user-upload platforms like YouTube will now be required to secure a license from rights holders, or ensure that no unauthorised content is available on the platform. The Directive includes a “stay down” provision requiring platforms to keep unlicensed content down.

Music trade bodies welcomed the news. “We thank lawmakers for their efforts in navigating a complex environment to pass a Directive with noteworthy implications for the content community,” IFPI CEO Frances Moore said. 

“We now look forward to the implementation stage, where we will work with the EU’s Member States to ensure the Directive is transposed into national law in a manner fully consistent with its aim and key principles of European and international law.”

Chair of the global trade body for music publishing, ICMPChris Butler, said: “We extend our appreciation to MEPs across party lines and EU Member States for their hard work through this challenging legislative process. We are grateful for important provisions supporting songwriters and composers, recognising that music must be given its rightful value.

“We're particularly pleased to secure sector-specific safeguards for music publishers in Articles 4 and 12. These battles were hard-fought, amount to crucial wins for music in Europe and are particularly important for our independent publisher members.”

ICMP Director General John Phelan commented: “Four years of titanic tussling later, our work to solve the ‘Value Gap’ now begins a new stage after this vote. Namely, to ensure that those who make the music make a fair return. ICMP will keep working with all European governments to transpose this law appropriately. ‘Safe Harbours’ must not become archipelagos for platforms to devalue music. Today redoubles our determination in that mission."

AIMP leaders Teri Nelson Carpenter, John Ozier and Alisa Coleman issued the following joint statement:

"The AIMP supports the European Parliament's decision to approve the EU Copyright Directive, finally granting independent publishers, songwriters, and other rights-holders the ability to demand fair payment from digital services that have previously been shielded by safe harbor laws. Now, these services will be required to police their own content to ensure they are not hosting copyrighted works, ending the days of endless takedown letters and putting the burden of responsibility back where it belongs. We strongly encourage the U.S. government to look to this law as a guide for future legislation, and look forward to the day when independent publishers and songwriters throughout the entire world will be granted the rights now established by the EU."

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