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Article 13 - Digital Music News Expand / Collapse
Posted 02 July 2018 18:02

Supreme Being

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Article 13 and Copyright Directive - This is a complex problem that I don't understand in all its aspects. We don't hear much information about it in the Canadian media, but I'm sure we're going to be hit sooner or later with the same issue. James is one of several prominent artists who support publicly the campaign.

Video message from James:

@bpi_music Jun 29
As @JamesBlunt says, it's vital #MEPs fix the #valuegap when they vote on the #copyrightdirective. Artists are looking to MEPs to make sure their creativity & effort is rewarded fairly by ensuring online services license the music they use. #CreatorsRightsFight

James Blunt Weighs In on Article 13: ‘We Desperately Need This Fixed’
Digital Music News July 1, 2018


James Blunt Weighs In on Article 13: ‘We Desperately Need This Fixed’
Paul Resnikoff
July 1, 2018

Is this the tipping point? Just ahead of the weekend, James Blunt threw his considerable weight behind Article 13. He’s now one of several superstars speaking out.

Superstar musicians usually keep quiet when it comes to touchy issues like piracy, copyright, and the ‘value gap’. But maybe that’s changing in Europe. Just recently, David Guetta publicly supported Article 13, and now, James Blunt is following suit.

That is part of a far broader wave of support, with big-name musicians potentially shifting the outcome ahead of a July 5th vote.

In a video message posted ahead of the weekend, Blunt offered a succinct case for passing the controversial measure. The three-minute appeal was targeted directly at members of European Parliament, who are now voting on Article 13 and its umbrella legislation, the EU Copyright Directive.

“My name is James Blunt. I’ve been so lucky to be able to make music, but the next generation of artists coming through need to get a better deal when their music is used online. I believe we need a world where the effort and creativity that goes into making music is rewarded fairly. That’s why the proposals in Europe to ensure online services get licenses for the music they use is so important to performers and songwriters who are trying to make a living and build a career in music.

“We need this problem fixed. Creators need the support of members of the European Parliament and we desperately hope you’ll give it to us.”

We’ve been covering Article 13 for weeks, and thinking through the potentially serious ramifications for the music industry.

That discussion starts with YouTube, which has benefitted enormously from safe harbor protections that force copyright owners to self-manage their content on the network.

In a nutshell, Article 13 would require that online platforms install filters to identify content and properly pay for it. And ‘pay for it’ means paying the price set by the copyright owner. Violations of that policy would result in steep copyright penalties, with the burden shifted entirely to online platforms.

Suddenly, ‘safe harbor’ is thrown out the window, with filters and constant monitoring required at the point of upload.

YouTube has countered that its Content ID rights management system already achieves this aim, though major content owners are crying bullshit on that argument. That includes heavyweights like Irving Azoff, who hasn’t been shy about sparring with YouTube Music’s newly-installed chief, Lyor Cohen.

Cohen recently stated that the industry ‘isn’t discussing the value gap‘ anymore, while claiming that premium subscription is the most important topic these days.

The YouTube Music executive also claimed that most labels are inexperienced when it comes to advertising, and missing a bigger picture of big growth ahead.

Meanwhile, nearly 150 different music organizations throughout Europe and demanding change, and vociferously supporting Article 13. Led by indie consortium Impala, the brigade of organizations includes nearly every European PRO, a group that has now been joined by 32,000+ songwriters and content creators. That latter group includes David Guetta, Ennio Morricone, and Jean-Michel Jarre, among many others.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine Article 13 getting so much traction if Content ID was functioning as flawlessly as YouTube claims.

Instead, industry critics have long pointed to a crafty game by YouTube that ultimately drives down the price of content, with ‘effective’ filters like Content ID offering cover. Instead of feeling a sense of control, content owners mainly feel like they’re on the defensive, and forced to manage YouTube’s impossibly vast network.

Suddenly, YouTube is facing the very distinct possibility of losing its ‘safe harbor’ trump card. Which means the video giant will suddenly have to pay the same amount for content as competitors Spotify, Apple Music, and others — at least in the EU. In that light, the recent launch of YouTube Music seems to have a far different motivation, with Cohen & Co. potentially battling the extinction of dirt-cheap content.

Sounds like great news for Spotify, which has always complained of YouTube’s cut-rate advantage. But that depends on a lot of variables. First, Article 13 has to pass, and be implemented. And once YouTube is forced to pay a fair rate for music videos, it’s unclear how they’ll react.

In one scenario, YouTube simply keeps going, while subsidizing the cost and prioritizing lower-cost content. In another, they move entirely away from free music videos, at least in EU countries, which would theoretically drive hoards of users to Spotify. That is, if Spotify gets to keep their freebie tier post-Article 13.
Post #286285
Posted 02 July 2018 23:53

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James' video message is also on Vimeo:

Post #286290
Posted 04 July 2018 15:38

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Artists including Plácido Domingo, James Blunt, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Paul McCartney make direct call to MEPs before major vote

[London, 4th July 2018] – Following a campaign involving over 1,300 recording artists - including Plácido Domingo, James Blunt, Francis Cabrel, The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Max Martin, Udo Lindenberg – via petitions and statements, videos and personal appearances, Sir Paul McCartney now lends his voice.

IFPI has today released a letter to Members of the European Parliament from Sir Paul McCartney urging MEPs to vote on Thursday (12pm CET, European Parliament, Strasbourg, France) in support of the EU Copyright Directive mandate. Sir Paul has added his voice to thousands from across Europe’s creative sectors calling for the EU to seize the chance to restore fairness to Europe’s online music marketplace:

More than 1,300 recording artists calling for a solution to the Value Gap;

84 major European creative sectors including record labels (Majors and Indies), songwriters, The International Artists’ organisation, newspapers, authors, books, cinemas, book publishers, picture agencies, football leagues, commercial TV broadcasters, magazines, academics, publishers and many more asking for support on the Copyright Directive;

Many MEPs asking for the EU to achieve the same;

A petition by 20,000 creators;

More than 100 videos from recording artists from all European nationalities urging their MEPs to support the copyright mandate (a selection of which are being posted on IFPI’s twitter feed)

Read the full text of the letter from Sir Paul McCartney via below link.


About IFPI

IFPI is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. Its membership comprises some 1,300 major and independent companies in 60 countries. It also has affiliated industry national groups in 57 countries. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, campaign for the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.

Post #286301
Posted 05 July 2018 15:16

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Press release by European Parliament
5th July 2018

Parliament to review copyright rules in September

MEPs have rejected a committee proposal to start negotiations to update copyright laws for the digital age.

Parliament's plenary voted by 318 votes to 278, with 31 abstentions to reject the negotiating mandate, proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee on 20 June. As a result, Parliament's position will now be up for debate, amendments and a vote during the next plenary session, in September.

After the vote, the rapporteur, Axel Voss (EPP, DE) said:

"I regret that the majority of MEPs did not support the position I and the Legal Affairs Committee have advocated. But this is part of the democratic process. We will return to the case in September for further consideration and attempt to address the peoples' concerns while bringing our copyright rules up to date with the modern digital environment. "

The European Parliament's Rules of Procedure provide that if at least 10% of MEPs (76) object to opening negotiations with the Council based on the text voted in committee, a plenary vote will be held. By the deadline of midnight on Tuesday, the required number of MEPs had lodged their objections.

Post #286306
Posted 12 September 2018 22:28

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Daniel Sanchez
September 12, 2018
Digital Music News

With today’s vote, expect YouTube and other user-generated content platforms to finally pay copyright holders their fair share. Yet, with the Copyright Directive, has the music industry inadvertently lobbied for the implementation of a police state?

In a major victory for the music and entertainment industries, the European Parliament has voted in favor of the Copyright Directive.

European members of Parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday approved the bill shot down in July. In Strasbourg, 438 members voted in favor of the controversial legislation. 226 voted against, and 39 abstained from the vote.

For months, critics, including major tech companies, have slammed the Copyright Directive. Without citing evidence, they claimed the law would bring the end of creative freedom on user-generated content (UGC) platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Copyright holders largely disagreed, stating UGC platforms have long circumvented existing laws to avoid paying content creators their fair share.

Google, in particular, has lobbied heavily against the Copyright Directive. The search giant paid $36 million to effectively have lawmakers scuttle the bill.

The controversial legislature approved today includes amended versions of two important sections – Article 11 and Article 13.

Article 11 allows publications to enforce copyrights over works shared online, allowing them to demand paid licenses beforehand. Dubbed the “link tax,” publications could charge news aggregators, like Google, for linking to their works.

Article 13, meanwhile, would obligate UGC platforms to install “effective content recognition” tech to filter copyright-protected content. This would force YouTube and Facebook to better monitor copyrighted content posted by users.

In addition, Article 13 may force streaming platforms to pay higher copyright fees in future negotiations.

A major win for the entertainment industry. A major loss for tech companies.

Today’s vote has prompted a passionate response from both sides.

Infuriated and disappointed with the vote, critics lashed out at MEPs.

Julia Reda, a German Pirate Party lawmaker, called the vote “catastrophic.”

“Final vote for Parliament position on the copyright directive with #UploadFilters and #LinkTax adopted. Parliament has failed to listen to citizens’ and experts’ concerns.”

Opponents had used the #SaveYourInternet hashtag, claiming the Copyright Directive would strip users of their internet freedom.

Article 11, they claim, would open up the internet to abuse from copyright trolls. They added lawmakers shouldn’t have the right to tax online aggregations platforms.

Article 13 would also open up UGC platforms to potential abuse.

YouTube and Facebook, for example, would have to individually scan each submission to see if the content violates copyrights. This, they argue, would hurt small-time platforms who can’t afford to implement costly technology.

Critics also argued lawmakers could now potentially use the Copyright Directive to shut down images, videos, and other content deemed offensive.

This may sound like a highly improbable and completely fictional scenario. Yet, this is currently happening in Russia.

In 2015, Eduard Nikitin posted 2 memes on social media, joking about the country’s dismal future. Now unemployed, the disabled 42-year-old faces extremism charges. Russian Police previously pressured a 19-year-old filmmaker and a 23-year-old into signing confessions of extremism. Like Nikitin, they also shared or stored memes about the government on social media.

It’s not just Russia, however, going after users and memes critical of its government on social media.

Emmanuel Macron, France’s Prime Minister, recently drafted a new law “in order to protect democracy.” Ahead of European parliament elections, he proposed forcibly limiting the spread of “fake news” online against his government. Judges could force users to pull down news items Macron and his cabinet deems unfavorable within 24 hours. Macron’s popularity level reached 23% earlier this month.

Not everyone shared the same concerns as Redi, however.

Sajjad Karim, a British Conservative lawmaker, praised the Copyright Directive.

“The legislation is now better balanced, answering many of the concerns of journalists, publishers and musicians whose work was being shared freely online without stifling innovation or fundamentally changing the nature of the internet.”

Clearly overlooking critics’ warnings, Karim said,

“[The bill] also takes into account the rights of users, ensuring that materials used for teaching and research, and by cultural and heritage organizations, are not encumbered by unnecessary restrictions.”

Yet, the battle over the Copyright Directive remains far from over.

Today’s vote doesn’t mean Europe will soon adopt the Copyright Directive. Far from it, actually.

The next stage includes a “trilogue.” Basically, today’s vote means negotiations will soon take place between European Parliament, the European Commission, and the European Council. They’ll decide on the fate of the Copyright Directive.

Then, if approved this January, individual European Union nations will have to vote on how to implement the Copyright Directive.

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