Brussels – 29 January 2016. MEPs and Artists work on solution for fair remuneration.
MEPs from across the political spectrum came together with artists from across Europe for a working meeting in Brussels. They discussed how to create a general framework for music in the digital single market with fair rewards and incentives for all stakeholdersplayers. Europe has a rich cultural heritage and MEPs and artists are keen to ensure that consumers can enjoy the fruits of a flourishing creative future.
At the meeting, MEPs urged artists to present their unique and central view of the music sector to the European Commission so that it can feed into the upcoming legislative proposal for the digital market. Any legal solution must deal with transparency, duty of care, a fair share of value and equitable remuneration for artists and other players in the value chain, including consumers, platforms, right holders and creators.
The discussion was organised by the IAO, the International Artist Organisation for Music, which is also celebrating its first birthday. MEPs warmly welcomed the formation of the IAO so that they can hear the actual voice of the artists, who are at the heart of the music business.
Paul Pacifico, President of the IAO, thanked the MEPs for taking such a keen interest in artists and their future. He said: “Every artist in Europe has his/her own unique voice, but they are coming together with the IAO because this is so important to the digital sector. We have a direct connection with consumers and we want a framework that allows artists to have a fair reward for success.”
The MEP Mary Honeyball (S&D, UK), who has worked for many years with artists, said: “Hearing the stories from artists themselves reinforces the importance of securing fairness in the market. I remain strongly committed to ensuring creators’ rights in all senses, and I will work with colleagues from across the Parliament, in the other institutions and across the EU in order to ensure that creators can continue to create, and that we as consumers can continue to enjoy.”
Therese Comodini (EPP, Malta), another MEP who has always spoken passionately about the need for a fair deal for artists, said: “New copyright legislation must bear in mind that technology changes quicker than law. It therefore needs to establish a framework of values and principles which are of core importance, but which can be interpreted and applied in an always- changing technology. These core values and principles which will apply to persons on the value chain can lead us to create a legislative framework that fosters rather than hinders the promotion of European culture and which strikes right balance between user access and fair share of value for all stakeholders on the value chain.”
Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, Spain) considered that: "The IAO presents for the first time a clear and compelling vision of how important is to ensure a fair treatment of creators in the digital age. The occasion is the Commission’s commitment to complete the Digital Single Market. IAO is simply asking for transparency, updating the rules to the new technologies market and a reasonable and fair remuneration of creators for their distinctive contribution to the value chain. I cannot agree more."
Teresa Giménez Barbat (ALDE, Spain) commented: “The revision of the copyright framework represents a crucial challenge for the EU and especially for the creative industry. As members of the European Parliament, we need to put in place a balanced approach: give voice to artists by protecting their rights to have fair recognition and rewards as creators and keep pace with the times, without forgetting how digital freedom is a key source for intellectual exchanges and knowledge.”
Inese Vaidere (EPP, Latvia) added: "In my view copyright is of a high importance as its allows creators to benefit from their own work. Furthermore, the European high-end culture and creative industries have continuously delivered strong performance and generate spillovers from which the rest of the European economy has benefited significantly. I believe the European Commission should adopt concrete proposals how to create transparent, reliable and safe system to protect the rights of artists and the whole creative industry."
Dietmar Köster (S&D, Germany) stated: “The artists guarantee with their works the diversity of our cultural life. Their precarious conditions must be improved, because the value generated by the digital markets are not fairly shared. As a member of the European Parliament I am committed to securing fair remuneration for cultural professionals. Because market alone will not ensure it, it must be a main aim of a new EU-copyright legislation.”
Many more MEPs like Virginie Rozière (S&D, France) and Dan Dalton (ECR, UK) also expressed their support to the Artists’ cause. They all urged the European Commission to secure the future of Europe’s creative and cultural heritage through a legal framework which ends with the abuses of the lack of a proper regulation of online commercialisation of artistic works.
The artists who participated in this meeting made the following statements:
Katie Melua, singer & songwriter – UK
“It was lovely to hear MEPs say they want transparency between consumers and artists. We also want the same thing.”
Wally Badarou, performer and & composer, and Suzanne Combo, singer & songwriter – France
“When we do deals, we entrust the most precious thing we have – the rights to what we have created. The companies that exploit those rights commercially should have a duty of care to us.”
Nacho G. Vega, singer & songwriter – Spain
“We must ensure that music can be a sustainable profession in the digital age. We need a robust new legislative framework able to adapt remuneration rights through the transition from radio to streaming. This would guarantee an equitable share of value in the current music ecosystem.”
Julia Neigel, singer & songwriter – Germany
“We need our rights to equitable remuneration to be brought into the 21st century and made relevant for the future – not just the past.”
Paul Pacifico, who is himself a renowned harmonica player in the UK, concluded the working event saying: “I look forward to continue working closely with Members of the European Parliament to achieve our common goal. Our message to the European Commission is clear. Artists are not looking to fight technology or the march of progress. On the contrary;. artists want to foster innovation and push the uptake of new and exciting services and allow exciting opportunities for communication and creativity. We must just make sure that the digital market is a fair market where artists can flourish both creatively and economically.”
Paul Pacifico, IAO
+44 7957 488315