The Commission finds itself under increasing pressure from the cultural sector following letters sent by recorded songwriters and musicians, branch organisations and now authors and creators from all artistic sectors. This latest letter, signed by some of Europe’s most important cultural exporters and influencers, urges the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, to quickly find a real solution to enable a fair sharing of value on the Internet.
Today, Internet giants argue that copyright obligations don’t apply to them and hide behind safe harbour exemptions to avoid paying creators and rights holders fairly. It’s not just major pop stars or the music sector at large that is under threat because of this; it is the entire creative ecosystem made up of composers, authors, directors, screenwriters, photographers, sculptors, painters, etc.
“The dominant players on the market, like YouTube, are platforms built on user uploaded or aggregated content that don’t or only barely provide remuneration for our work” says the letter, warning that “this pulls the entire market value of creative works down in a never ending race to the bottom.”
GEMA member, songwriter and Scorpions singer Klaus Meine said that “the Commission cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity to tackle the biggest challenge of the decade. Our work is being used for profit by tech giants who hide behind outdated legislation to avoid paying for creativity. For the sake of future generations of artists, this must change now.”
The letter has now been signed by over 1000 creators. A delegation of the signatories has asked for a meeting with Juncker to give their views in person before it is too late, in order to ensure that the forthcoming legislative proposal takes their grievances into account.