Press Release | Brussels, 22 June 2016
Performers call on Members of the European Parliament to support legislation to guarantee fair remuneration from downloading and streaming services
MEPs from different political groups as well as performers and their representatives came together on 21 June 2016 to discuss the fair remuneration of performers in the digital environment.
The 2001 Copyright Directive sought to secure fair remuneration for audio and audiovisual performers from downloading and streaming services. However, the reality is that this well-intended legislation has largely failed Europe’s performers as, 15 years on, most of them still cannot benefit financially from the online use of their performances.
Current EU copyright law must be adapted.
Whilst the European Commission has repeatedly made general statements about the need to ensure fair remuneration for all creators, it has yet failed to come forward with any concrete solution.
At the event hosted by MEP Dietmar Köster, the message from performers and their representatives was clear.
In order to create a sustainable creative sector in Europe all performers must be able to get a fair share of online revenues and earn a decent living also in the digital environment.
The only solution to ensure that all performers in the EU are fairly remunerated for online use is to grant them an unwaivable right to receive equitable remuneration from streaming and downloading on demand, subject to mandatory collective management.
In order for their voice to be heard in the forthcoming debate on EU copyright reform, performers need the active support of the European Parliament.
In this regard the FAIR INTERNET campaign* welcomed yesterday’s exchange with members of the European Parliament and are looking forward to a close dialogue in the coming months.
MEP Dietmar Köster: «Performers are at the heart of Europe’s cultural diversity. But we know that a lot of performers as well as other creators are in a difficult social situation and live under precarious conditions. In this sense adequate remuneration is absolutely necessary. A fair share of the total value generated by the exploitation of the creators’ works must be ensured. EU-legislation should aim to re-balance the transfer of value and guarantee the payment of remuneration for the performer«.
Benoit Machuel, FIM: «Performers have been granted legislative protection over 15 years since the adoption in 2001 of the InfoSoc Directive. In practice this protection has mainly benefited their producers, due to unbalanced contracts. This situation creates enormous frustration, as most performers see their performances downloaded and streamed millions of times without receiving anything from the revenues generated«.
Christopher Blenkinsop, German performer: «Spotify’s pay-outs to music industry reached €1.63bn in 2015. Many performers remain empty handed. How can this be acceptable?«
Nacho Garcia Vega, Spanish performer: «I rely on my rights to earn a living from my music. In the digital age, artists need these rights to be adapted to streaming and download services. We need the European Parliament to make a difference«.
Xavier Blanc, AEPO-ARTIS: «General support for the idea of fair remuneration is not satisfactory. We need an equitable remuneration for performers paid by the user and administered by performers’ collective management organisation. It must be a main aim of a new EU-copyright legislation«.