In April 2019 the European Parliament adopted the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive (2019/790) as part of the European Digital Strategy making the European Union a global digital player.
With this directive the EU reacted to how rapid technological developments continue to transform the way works and other subject matter are created, produced, distributed, and exploited. It acknowledged that – in order to be future proof – the existing Union copyright framework needs to be adapted and supplemented, while keeping a high level of protection of copyright and related rights (recitals 2-3).
For performers, this directive sent a huge political signal. It acknowledged the weaker contractual position of performers (recital 75) and – with article 18 – introduced the principle of appropriate and proportionate remuneration for performers when they transfer their exclusive rights.
Member States have the obligation to guarantee appropriate and proportionate remuneration and have the possibility to use any mechanism to reach this goal. For performers it is important that such mechanism is effective in guaranteeing remuneration, a position that was shared by the European Parliament in October 2021 when adopting its resolution on the situation of artists in October 2021 (par. 15).
AEPO-ARTIS is convinced that this objective is best achieved by granting performers an unwaivable remuneration right for online exploitations. This mechanism already exists in all EU member states for certain exploitations, but only a few have made it applicable to the making available right, which is the legal basis for almost all online exploitations. In July 2022, Commissioner Breton confirmed that “the Commission considers that, in principle, Member States could transpose article 18 through an unwaivable remuneration right”.
While most Member States have currently opted for a literal transposition, performers in certain countries have nevertheless been able to use the transposition to achieve an improvement of their position. The deadline was June 7, 2021, but a particularly large proportion of Member States still have to complete transposition.
AEPO-ARTIS is working with its members to achieve the best possible result in those remaining countries.
Copyright Directive Implementation
Article 18 of the Copyright Directive (2019/790) obliges Member States to ensure that where authors and performers license or transfer their exclusive rights for the exploitation of their works or other subject matter, they are entitled to receive appropriate and proportionate remuneration.