The Fair Internet coalition welcomes the adoption of the Copyright Directive as a first, important step in the right direction in improving performers’ rights
Brussels, 26 March 2019
The FAIR INTERNET coalition representing over 500,000 musicians, singers, actors, dancers and other performing artists welcomes the European Parliament’s adoption of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Chapter III of this Directive includes provisions that constitute a first, encouraging step in the right direction, as they seek to increase transparency on contractual relations and level up the remuneration initially agreed, often little more than symbolic, with subsequent revenues. Most importantly, the Directive establishes that the remuneration of performers must be proportionate to the revenues generated by the exploitation of their work and that lump sum payments are to be the exception, rather than the rule.
Today, most performers are not remunerated when their performances are exploited via streaming and downloading platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Prime and Netflix. With little bargaining power, they often have no choice but to transfer all economic rights on those productions, in return for a one-off payment and regardless of how successful the exploitation is in the end. However, following today’s vote, Member States must now ensure that performers receive appropriate and proportionate remuneration, including for online exploitation.
To this end, the Directive clearly says that Member States may rely on different existing or newly-introduced mechanisms, including collective bargaining and other mechanisms. The FAIR INTERNET coalition calls on Member States to achieve this aim by introducing into their national systems a right to remuneration for making available on demand for performers paid by online platforms and subject to mandatory collective management.