Strasbourg, 5th July 2018

The European parliament decided today to move to full debate in plenary on copyright reform. 

The next step will give parliamentarians more time to reach a decision in the parliament’s next plenary session in September. 

Helen Smith commented: “The result underlines that although many parliamentarians were satisfied, others were simply not ready to decide. It is like a second reading. This will take place in September.”

The process continues a long and detailed review of the proposed new rules, following a positive vote of the legal affairs committee two weeks ago, taking into account the conclusions of 4 other committees. This vote was challenged, putting parliamentarians in a situation where they had just two weeks to reach a conclusion.

“Today’s decision means there will be another debate. We are confident that in September the Parliament will reach a conclusion and secure a fair and sustainable internet. Platforms facilitate a unique relationship between artists and fans, and copyright reform should help rebalance the licensing framework around this.”

In the run up to the vote, parliamentarians and citizens were subjected to a disinformation campaign on a scale rarely seen before. There have also been attempts to manipulate the press, and threats of public shaming if parliamentarians didn’t vote against, on top of longer term campaigns to influence academics

Helen Smith added: “Copyright aside, the hijacking of the process raises fundamental questions about how incumbent platforms and supposedly objective operators abuse their position. It underlines the need for greater transparency and scrutiny, especially with actors who have huge potential to influence public opinion and are not shy about using it.”


IMPALA was established in April 2000 to represent European independent music companies. 99% of Europe’s music companies are SMEs. Known as the “independents”, they are world leaders in terms of innovation and discovering new music and artists – they produce more than 80% of all new releases and account for 80% of the sector’s jobs (for more information, see the features of independents). IMPALA’s mission is to grow the independent music sector, return more value to artists, promote cultural diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access and modernise perceptions of the music sector. See the organisation’s key achievements in IMPALA’s milestones.

IMPALA – Independent Music Companies Association

Rue des Deux Eglises 37-39, 1000, Brussels, BELGIUM

+32 2 503 31 38