Levelling the playing field for independent music companies and their artists across Europe
IMPALA’s main work focuses on promoting copyright as a liberator, reinforcing exclusive rights and closing value gaps in all areas of the businesses, from online through to performance. In Europe, the EU adopted a new copyright directive in 2019 which took the lead worldwide by clarifying the position of user upload platforms. As well as confirming that platforms need to be licensed, the new directive introduces new provisions for the benefit of consumers and start ups. Member states have until June 2020 to implement the new rules. For more see our note below What is copyright EU reform about?
In a nutshell, the new European Copyright Directive is intended to make copyright fair and sustainable for all.
Copyright reform is a fundamental part of this general desire to see more balance in the online world, and also to create new provisions for artists and writers in their relations with labels and publishers. It also tackles news online with a new right for press publishers.
Independent music companies embrace the fact that creators and citizens enjoy a unique relationship online. They also embrace the fact that posting and sharing user-generated content is part of our daily life online. At the same time, IMPALA felt that certain rules of engagement online needed to be rewritten because some large platforms claimed that responsibility lies only with the user and the owner of the content. You can find here a FAQ on the copyright directive:IMPALA – Copyright Directive FAQs – September 2019.pdf
This was not just a call from the music industry, 80% of Europeans wanted the EU to ensure creators are properly paid.
On 26 March 2019, the European Parliament approved the copyright directive in a landmark vote. You can find the European Commission’s press release here.
Over 300 organisations across all cultural sectors asked the parliament to vote in favour, with a joint campaign #Yes2copyright. Following the previous parliament vote in September 2018, anti-copyright pressure was intense. One example was YouTube using its own network and advertising to influence public opinion. An open letter was sent to YouTube’s CEO about this. It asked YouTube to allow Europe For Creators to message YouTubers and place banner ads, in the same way YouTube did.