Art. 13: musicians, songwriters, managers and producers answer to rightsholders

Art. 13: musicians, songwriters, managers and producers answer to rightsholders

On February 8th, music-industry bodies the IFPI, Impala and ICMP published a letter asking for the European copyright directive to be scrapped (including its controversial Article 13). Now a group of bodies representing musicians, songwriters, managers and producers have criticised the intervention sending a letter in response.

The document - signed by the UK Council of Music Makers (CMM) which includes BASCA, FAC, MMF, MPG and the MU - says:

It is hugely disappointing to see the music labels and publishers disregard the interests of their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to overturn years of collaborative work at the 11th hour by killing the Copyright Directive. Like YouTube, they have lobbied negotiators hard without consulting or informing the creative community. Heavy-handed tactics of heavyweight businesses.

The CMM letter claims that the problem is about more than Article 13, however:

It is sad to see labels and publishers turn on their creators and artists in this way. They are trying to halt the Directive not only because of the latest wording of Article 13 but because they want to avoid the improvements to transparency and fairness that the Articles 14-16 bring. We are saddened that the short-term commercial interests of these companies can be put before modernisation of copyright legislation that will benefit the whole industry.

In yesterday's letter co-signed by the IFPI, Impala and ICMP (along with bodies from the sports and TV worlds) they claimed that the reason for calling for a halt to the directive was that its original aim had been watered down too much, amidst a heavy lobbying campaign spearheaded by YouTube.But the CMM's member bodies aren't buying it:

The labels and publishers have shown an unsettling disrespect for the talent that they have the privilege of representing, raising serious questions about their suitability to be the custodians of copyright. We have worked in tandem with UK Music and colleagues across the industry to find compromise and solutions that enable legislation to pass. This Directive will affect future generations of creators and performers whose interests need protecting beyond the interests of current models. We have been engaged and willing to negotiate, and we remain engaged and progressing in good faith, with both tech and industry. We have not given up on this important legislation.

The CMM bodies admit that "the current text could be improved and still includes some problematic provisions" but in contrast to the label and publisher bodies, are arguing that halting the copyright directive "would be a fundamental failure for European policy-making and the functioning of our democracy, as it can only be interpreted as an endorsement of the unfair and manipulative practices of some tech giants that refuse any responsibility".