Brussels – 13 May 2015, 6pm. MEPs and artists came together today to call for transparency and fairness in culture and commerce!
Singers, pianists, saxophonists, bass players and guitarists from Spain, Germany, France, UK and other member states shared the stage with MEPs from across the political spectrum, highlighting the unfairness of the revenue splits from digital services.
Speaking for artists and musicians, Paul Pacifico, President of the International Artist Organisation (IAO), recalled that performers receive just 46c from a typical digital subscription, while the intermediaries receive almost fifteen times as much. Yet, it is the artists that music fans tune in to hear.
Mary Honeyball MEP, who sponsored this gathering with artists, described the problem as unacceptable and called on the Commission to propose a new remuneration right to ensure performers are fairly paid.
Virginie Rozière MEP, Jean-Marie Cavada MEP, Emma McClarkin MEP and other MEPs present at the event, also committed to the Artist’s cause and urged the Commission to take the opportunity of the Digital Single Market new strategy and upcoming copyright reform to secure the future of Europe’s creative and cultural heritage.
The event in the European Parliament featured:
Pilar Jurado, singer and composer – Spain
Sandie Shaw, singer and songwriter – UK Julian Joseph, pianist and composer – UK
Paul Pacifico, harmonica – UK Axel Bauer, singer and songwriter – France
Florent le Duc, artist – Belgium
Gil Mortiaux, multi-instrumentalist and composer – Belgium
Kent, singer and songwriter – France Nacho G. Vega – singer – Spain Florian Boos, saxophonist – Germany Joe Downard, bass – UK
The conference and reception was attended by MEPs, Commission officials, members of the relevant Commissioners’ Cabinets and Permanent Representatives of EU member states, as well as a wide range of stakeholders and media. They were treated to a unique performance by young professional musicians from Germany and the UK – Florian Boos (tenor sax from Bundes Jazz Orchester) and Joe Downard (bass player in National Youth Jazz Orchestra).
Mary Honeyball said: “I know that many of my colleagues and friends not just here in the Parliament, but in governments, civil society and homes across the EU share my view on the importance of fair remuneration of artists. Therefore we are here to ask the Commission, and in particular Commissioner Oettinger and Vice-President Ansip, to ensure that those who give us culture can continue to enrich our lives in the future.”
The Chair of the EP Copyright Working Group, Jean-Marie Cavada, commented: "Copyright enables creators to live off their creative work, whatever their reputation and status. With this in mind, I am proud to fight for the recognition of copyright as a vital tool for fair remuneration of artists along with Mary Honeyball."
Emma McClarkin also contributed saying: "As a supporter of the creative industry, I am delighted to attend this Artists in Europe event in Brussels. We are working with Commissioner Oettinger in the reform of copyright and are keeping the fair remuneration of creators in the online world and in the creative cycle at the forefront of our minds when drafting our proposals.
The ECR wants to make progress on copyright, but believes we should be doing so gradually and without being too prescriptive, which would hamper the industry’s effort to formulate their individual business models. A one-size fits all approach, would not aid growth in the industry. It is imperative that that we recognise rights holders and their right to enforce these throughout the process."
Virginie Rozière said: "Today, artists shown us how important they are, and how authors rights are key to maintain a thriving and diverse cultural creation in Europe. We certainly have to adapt culture to the new media, but without sacrificing fair remuneration for those who create".
Paul Pacifico, President of IAO, concluded the event saying: “I want to profoundly thank the Members of the European Parliament for their support and clear commitment and look forward to work closely with all of them to achieve our common goal.”
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