Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to adopt the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market – including the controversial Article 13 provision, which has been renamed Article 17.
The European Parliament voted on the bill today (March 26), with 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions.
Article 13 aims to make internet platforms liable for copyright-infringing user uploaded material and the likes of YouTube and Facebook are just some of the user content reliant firms that will be affected by the bill.
Member states are now required to approve the decision in the coming weeks and will have two years to implement it if adopted by the European Parliament.
The move has been welcomed by a wide cross section of the music business, following intensified campaigning in support of the Directive in the weeks leading up to the vote.
Those responding to the news today included the global recorded music industry body IFPI and various associations representing creators, songwriters, composers, publishers and labels, including the UK’s Music Managers Forum, CISAC, and the UK’s Association of Independent Music.
Frances Moore, IFPI
Frances Moore, CEO, IFPI, said: “We thank lawmakers for their efforts in navigating a complex environment to pass a Directive with noteworthy implications for the content community.
“This world-first legislation confirms that User-Upload Content platforms perform an act of communication to the public and must either seek authorisation from rightsholders or ensure no unauthorised content is available on their platforms.The Directive also includes a ‘stay down’ provision requiring platforms to keep unlicensed content down – another global first.
“We now look forward to the implementation stage, where we will work with the EU’s Member States to ensure the Directive is transposed into national law in a manner fully consistent with its aim and key principles of European and international law.”
Annabella Coldrick, Music Managers Forum
Annabella Coldrick, CEO, Music Managers Forum said: “This is really positive news. The MMF has stood with the rest of the music industry, and alongside our colleagues in the European Music Managers Alliance and the Council of Music Makers, to push for these vital updates to copyright law. This is a once in a generation opportunity to recalibrate Europe’s digital economy to ensure artists are fairly remunerated.
“Alongside Article 13, today’s Directive also offers a raft of changes that will empower artists and creators, ensuring they have greater transparency and leverage in their licensing and contractual partnerships. For the creative community, these amendments in Articles 14-16 are also of the utmost importance.
“It is now crucial that UK legislators act constructively to make good on their promises and implement these changes in full, and at the earliest opportunity.”
Helen Smith, IMPALA
Helen Smith, IMPALA, said: “This is a landmark day for Europe’s creators and citizens, and a significant step towards a fairer internet. Platforms facilitate a unique relationship between artists and fans, and this will be given a boost as a result of this directive. It will have a ripple effect world wide.
“The fact that the artists spoke amid so much anti-copyright harassment online is impressive. Parliamentarians did not let themselves be intimated and had the courage to vote this text through. Thanks to all who were involved in crafting such a balanced outcome. It is now for member states to reconfirm their approval of the directive.”
“This is the first legislation anywhere in the world that recognises there needs to be a better balance in the relationship between user-upload platforms and the creative community, whose content turbocharges those services.”
Geoff Taylor, BPI & BRIT Awards
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards, said: “This is the first legislation anywhere in the world that recognises there needs to be a better balance in the relationship between user-upload platforms and the creative community, whose content turbocharges those services.
“The Value Gap distorts the music ecosystem and holds back the growth of the UK’s creative industries. The priority now must be to ensure the UK implementation of the Directive achieves the goal of closing that gap, and we look forward to working with Government and all parties to that end.”
Gadi Oron, CISAC
CISAC Director-General Gadi Oron said: “The European Union has laid the foundation for a better and fairer digital environment – one in which creators will be in a stronger position to negotiate fair license fees when their works are used by big online platforms.
“This is a hugely important achievement not just for Europe, but for the millions of creators which CISAC represents across the world. We are grateful to all those in the European institutions who have tirelessly worked on this directive and hope that it will lead the way for countries outside the EU to follow.”
Jean-Michel Jarre, CISAC
CISAC President Jean-Michel Jarre, said: “I am delighted that, after three years of intense deliberation, the European Parliament has voted for a fairer deal for creators in the digital world.
“This is the yes to copyright that hundreds and thousands of creators have been asking for in order to preserve their livelihoods, and European culture, in the future. I want to say a huge thank you to the European Parliament for listening and understanding creators’ concerns.
“This is a really important decision that has enormous implications worldwide. It recognises that that a 21st century internet needs a 21st century level of protection for creators. It confirms that the big tech companies which use creative content must be made to negotiate fairly with the creators who fill their pipes and cables with their works. And it sets up a more just, balanced and responsible partnership between the creative community and the vast and powerful technology goliaths that increasingly dominate our digital world.”
Paul Pacifico, AIM
Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM: “The passing of the copyright directive into EU law represents a momentous opportunity for music and culture across Europe. Artists and the creative community made their voices heard, and MEPs listened and acted courageously.
“We are now a step closer to achieving real balance in the online space for artists and the businesses that support them with those who run the platforms and profit from creative content and we look forward to building this system together. The directive aims to create significant improvements for authors, creators and performers across Europe. It is a great reflection of the creative community’s power to catalyse real change.
“We look forward to the next stage of translating the legislation into national law in which we hope to see a high level of harmonisation across all member states. The UK Government has been extremely supportive of the British creative community in the evolution of the EU copyright directive and we will encourage and support a successful implementation of the directive into U.K. law, irrespective of what happens with Brexit.”
Music Business Worldwide