Communication re. EU Parliament report “Towards a Digital Single Market Act”

Communication re. EU Parliament report “Towards a Digital Single Market Act”

Monday, 21 September 2015. Fair Internet Communication regarding the European Parliament report “Towards a Digital Single Market Act” (2015/2147(INI))

The FAIR INTERNET CAMPAIGN run by four international organisations representing over half a million music and audiovisual performers in Europe (AEPO-ARTIS, EuroFIA, FIM and IAO) asks for a fair treatment of performers in the digital environment!

The discussions surrounding the EU Digital Single Market Strategy and in particular the reform of the EU copyright regime must take account of the weak protection of Europe’s performers in the digital environment.

Because today whether they are famous or not, performers are still not fairly rewarded when their performances are exploited via legal online on demand services such as iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, …. Most of them receive an all-inclusive fee at the time of the recording for all types of exploitation of their performances. Some other few performers receive an insufficient proportional remuneration.

The FAIR INTERNET campaign has therefore long called upon the European institutions to create a sustainable cultural and creative sector where performers get a fair share of online revenues, through an unwaivable remuneration right for digital uses of their work, collected from the users who make the performances available on demand and subject to mandatory collective management.

Is it something new?
No such a guarantee of remuneration was already introduced into EU law in 1992 with the EU Rental Directive. It is therefore also in conformity with international treaties. To the contrary, the WIPO Beijing Treaty specifically refers to such a model to guarantee the remuneration of performers for on demand uses.

Does it interfere with the producers’ ability to exploit the recording?
No. Current practices remain unchanged and producers free in their contractual activities.

Can it be left to contractual negotiations between performers and producers?
No.  Because the vast majority of performers are in a weak position and cannot negotiate better contract terms. Only in a very limited number of cases have unions been able to negotiate on behalf of performers.

Why act now?
The EU is currently discussing the reform of the EU copyright legislation.
Streaming and downloading services are developing.
We believe that the concerns of over 500.000 performers should form part of this European debate.

The FAIR INTERNET CAMPAIGN partners therefore call upon you to raise the unfair situation of performers in the digital environment as part of the discussion on the Digital Single Market Strategy and to ask the European Commission to treat the fair remuneration of performers as a priority issue in the current reform process of the EU copyright regime.
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