MEPs voted on the Copyright Directive in Strasbourg today and failed by a small majority (318 votes to 278, with 31 abstentions) to authorise the process whereby the European Union Council, Commission and Parliament negotiate a final text for passage into law.
Under the new Directive of Copyright which contained the key element Article 13, it would have required online content platforms like YouTube and Facebook to use filtering systems that block content — such as images and videos — that infringes the rights-holder’s copyright.
Crispin Hunt, BASCA Chair said:
“While we are disappointed that the campaign of misinformation has undermined the vote on Article 13, we can be emboldened by the strength of voice and argument coming from across the creative community. Thousands of songwriters, authors and composers, large and small are standing united to fight for fair compensation for the use of their copyright on the internet. This issue will not go away and the fight will continue. We call on all music creators to join us as we campaign ahead of the next debate in September.”
Michael Dugher UK Music CEO said: “This is a sad day for everyone involved in the creativity that is behind Britain’s world-leading music. It is desperately disappointing that a small majority of MEPs have backed Google’s shabby multi-million euro campaign of fake news and misinformation against creators. Frankly, in some cases MEPs were naive. In others cases, they have chosen to wilfully disregard the plight of creators. These proposals would make a real difference to our creators, to those that invest in them and to all of us who value our culture. Google’s YouTube is the world’s most popular music platform, yet it deliberately chooses to return a pittance to those whose creativity it has built its multi-billion pound business model on. Google remain the vultures that feed off music creators. The fact remains that this must end. We sincerely thank the 278 MEPs who backed reform and look forward to engaging positively with all MEPs on the opportunities to develop the Directive further. We may have lost this particular round, but the fight to ensure fairness for music creators goes on.”
Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music, said: “It is perhaps unsurprising considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals. 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. From the outset our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace – and currently, for artists and authors, it doesn’t. They want their creative works to be heard, they embrace technology, but they want to be paid fairly. We will continue to fight for what we believe is their freedom and a fair use of their creative works.”