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EU Provisionally Passes New Measure To Protect Music Creators Online
"Have you heard about Article 13? It could strengthen creators’ rights in Europe by finally holding platforms such as Facebook and YouTube accountable for hosting content without permission." — Conversations In Advocacy #25
In case you missed it, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee provisionally voted to proceed with new copyright reforms that include ensuring copyright holders get paid when their work is used on platforms that host user generated content.
Of particular interest to music creators and their supporters, including the USAlliance for Music coalition, is Article 13. This provision will require technology platforms that provide content in Europe to comply with copyright standards, implement copyright enforcement and it will make them liable for copyright violations from user-generated content.
If enacted, it would require internet platforms in Europe such as Facebook, Vimeo and YouTube to prevent copyright infringement, even if user generated. It would replace the notice and takedown system with a requirement to mitigate any infringement before it goes live online by using effective technologies, like Content ID systems. Otherwise, the platform faces liability for the copyright violation or has to pay the fair market rate for the use.
In addition, such technology needs to ensure it protects the free speech rights of users by not mistakenly removing non-infringing content and providing an easy way to reinstate content mistakenly removed.
Supporters of the reform effort believe Article 13 will address the so-called value gap in Europe. Currently, internet platforms that host user-generated content have been protected against copyright infringement claims, and not paid fair market rate for music. Under the new legislation, sites that rely on user-generated content will be treated like other digital music services such as Spotify and Apple Music. And despite claims to the contrary, Article 13 will do little to stifle the internet as we know it; Wikipedia, blogs, remixes, and even memes will be unaffected.
"It clarifies what the music sector has been saying for years: if you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a license, clear and simple," IMPALA's executive chair Helen Smith said. "It's time for the digital market to catch up with progress. Eyes of the world are on Europe to set a new standard for creators online."
The framework for the current copyright reform being considered by the EU was originally drafted in 2016. Now that the legislation has passed the Legal Affairs Committee, the full European Commission will hold a plenary vote on July 2 to either challenge or confirm the decision.
"Conversations in Advocacy" is your weekend digital tip sheet on the policies that affect music makers and their craft. New installments post every Friday.