Brussels, 20th June 2018

Today a great step was taken toward addressing the now famous “value gap” which has been plaguing the music sector for years.

After EU member states a few weeks ago, the European Parliament said loud and clear that they wanted online platforms distributing music and other creative works to have an obligation to get licences for the use of those works. The work was led by the main parliamentarian in charge, Axel Voss. 

IMPALA’s executive chair Helen Smith said:  “This is a strong and unambiguous message sent by the European Parliament. It clarifies what the music sector has been saying for years: if you are in the business of distributing music or other creative works, you need a licence, clear and simple. It’s time for the digital market to catch up with progress.”

This vote has taken place amid a massive campaign by tech companies and professional anti-copyright campaigners. Helen Smith continued: “Today’s vote is a great rebuttal to the relentless scare-mongering and misleading statements made by astro-turf organisations working for some tech giants trying to preserve the status quo. Parliamentarians were able to keep a cool head.”

The EU has never been closer to bringing back balance to the online world, but the process is not over yet since the parliament as a whole will need to approve this vote. Helen Smith stated: “The EU has made a leap forward and it now has to convert a try. This is part of a wider effort to make online platforms more accountable, where the EU is leading the way. The eyes of the world are on Europe to set a new standard for creators online. This is about ensuring artists and fans can still enjoy the unique relationship that online platforms facilitate.”


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

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