Fair Internet Coalition submits comments to EP Legal Affairs Committee

10/07/2017

On 10 July 2017, the Fair Internet Coalition submitted the following statement to the Members of the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee with its comments to the amendments tabled to the Draft Report On The Proposed Directive On Copyright In The Digital Single Market.

"Dear Members of the EP Legal Affairs Committee,

 

The Fair Internet coalition welcomes the many amendments presented by this committee with a view to addressing the precariousness that performers and audiovisual authors endure on a daily basis and improving their livelihood.

 

In particular, we fully support the introduction of an unwaivable and non-transferrable right to equitable remuneration for on-demand uses, paid by online downloading or streaming platforms (e.g. iTunes, Netflix, Spotify, etc.) and, with respect to performers, subject to mandatory collective management.

 

This mechanism constitutes a fair, efficient and simple answer to the need for a modern and more balanced copyright, perfectly fitted to the Digital Single Market. It acknowledges the value of performers' and audiovisual authors' creative contribution and ensures that they are, at last, fairly rewarded for the use of their work in digital, on-demand networks.

 

As you surely know, the overwhelming majority of performers in Europe work under inequitable terms, whereby all their intellectual property exclusive rights are transferred to employers/engagers upfront, in return for a single payment. As a result, they do not receive any meaningful revenue, if at all, from the online exploitation of their exclusive right of making available.

 

Contrary to what audio or audiovisual producers like to claim, even though addressing the “value gap” (article 13) in whichever shape or form may allow the market to grow, it will not change the situation described above.

 

We therefore call upon the Legal Affairs Committee to resolutely endorse such a right to remuneration and build support with all political groups around a meaningful compromise.

 

We also call upon the Legal Affairs Committee to carefully address the unbalanced contractual relationship between performers (and audiovisual authors) and producers. Some amendments genuinely seek to improve the very weak proposal by the European Commission. They include measures making transparency obligations benefit all performers equally; banning unfair clauses stretching out to encompass future rights, modes of exploitation, uses, etc.; encouraging sector-specific reporting standards or collective claims to a contractual revision.

 

Other amendments however would make things even worse than they are now and should thus be resolutely rejected.

 

We trust that the members of the EP Legal Affairs Committee will seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to promote an equitable level playing field in our industries, enabling performers and audiovisual authors to finally envisage a better future."

The full statement with all proposed amendments is available here: