Brussels, 11 February 2018
The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 50,000 professional composers and songwriters in 26 European countries. Together with the European cultural and creative sectors, we welcome the significant progress achieved so far on the Copyright Directive and support a successful agreement at this week’s trilogue meetings.
Now, more than ever, we strongly support the two main overarching objectives of this Directive: reinforce the position of rightholders for the online exploitation of their content on video-sharing platforms (Article 13) and improve the remuneration and contractual position of authors and performers (Chapter 3). While the current compromise put forward by the Romanian Presidency should still be improved, we call on the negotiators to adopt Article 13 as well as ambitious and meaningful Chapter 3 provisions, including a right to fair and proportionate remuneration (Article – 14) and a mandatory right of revocation (Article 16a).
Together with the European creative sector as whole, we have supported Article 13 in a constructive and positive manner so that it can improve the value of creative works for the whole value chain and for all rightsholders, including producers and publishers. At this key juncture of the final political process, some of them have been voicing their concerns about its current wording and took this opportunity to question other provisions, notably Chapter 3 of the Copyright Directive, which includes necessary key provisions to rebalance the systemic weak bargaining situation of creators in their contractual relationship with producers and publishers.
Such an opportunistic, short-term and individualistic perspective shows a profound disrespect for authors and performers, whose creativity is the core value of the cultural industries’ business model, and not merely an adjustment variable. It also expresses an unfortunate disregard for EU policy makers who seek to create a fair level playing field for all players along the creative value chain. We are confident that the three European Institutions will ignore those last-minute attempts to undermine the harmonisation and inclusion of basic standards of transparency and fairness in EU copyright legislation.
It is now time for the EU to send a strong and positive signal to future generations who want to write, compose, create and be fairly remunerated for their creations. It is now time to make the right choice and adopt the Copyright Directive without further due.
Alfons Karabuda, Swedish composer, President of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance.
Marc du Moulin, Secretary General of the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance.
You can download the PDF version here.