AEPO-ARTIS welcomes the Slovenian draft on the implementation of the Copyright Directive but warns for the introduction of a new discrimination!

Earlier this week, the Committee on Economic Affairs of the Slovenian Parliament approved the draft law implementing the CDSM directive 2019/790, bringing the total amount of countries that have completed the implementation almost to 17.

AEPO-ARTIS is delighted to see that Slovenia is joining the growing list of progressive European countries such as Spain, Belgium, Italy that have granted performers a right to equitable remuneration for streaming. The Slovenian draft introduces such a right to Slovenian actors.

However, it is equally important that Slovenian musicians are also granted this right.

At the moment, when a record is played on the radio, all musicians that contributed to this recording get paid equitable remuneration. However, when the same song gets played on a streaming platform like Spotify, no equitable remuneration is payable. Why this difference, one might think? For the listener, the legal technicalities of listening to a song on the radio or on Spotify are irrelevant. They want to enjoy the music and hope that the performers get paid fairly. For that reason, it is important and logical that a right to equitable remuneration is paid for songs played on Spotify, not only for songs played on the radio.

This is especially the case since it is the stated aim of platforms such as Spotify to replace the radio. The popularity of these platforms is continuing to rise, but there is no guaranteed payment obligation to pay all musicians.

However, when a song is played on Spotify it is legally classified as an act of “making available” and unfortunately, there is currently no European legal obligation to pay equitable remuneration for such making available. Nevertheless, several EU member states have corrected this anomaly and introduced an equitable remuneration right in their national legislation. The proposal that was approved earlier this week by the Committee on the Economy recognizes this when it comes to performers in the audiovisual sector. It introduces a remuneration right when their work is streamed on platforms like Netflix or HBO. It is incomprehensible that it does not introduce the same for music performances.

Especially when music performers are demanding an equal treatment. Just last week a study published by the International Artists Organisation (available here) was published showing that 87.5% of musicians were dissatisfied with the remuneration they were receiving for streaming. Only 8.5% of musicians were against the introduction of equitable remuneration to solve this problem.

Next week the plenary of the Slovenian Parliament will decide on this draft. AEPO-ARTIS hopes that the Slovenian Members of Parliament will realize in time that the introduction of a new discrimination is no longer of this time. We fully support the introduction of the Parliaments proposed streaming remuneration right, but would like to see it applicable to all categories of performers.