News from Brussels – February 2017

General Assembly concludes with a united front to fight safe harbor and unfair copyright contracts

Delegations from more than 50 composer and songwriter associations from all over Europe gathered for ECSA’s annual General Assembly in Brussels on 14 and 15 February 2017. High on the agenda were updates on the current review of the EU copyright rules, particularly the work of the European Parliament and the Council who are currently examining the European Commission’s draft copyright directive proposed on 14 September 2016. ECSA President Alfons Karabuda briefed ECSA members on the state of the art of two crucial issues for composers and songwriters, notably the provisions in the draft directive to ensure fair remuneration from online services such as YouTube and mechanisms helping creators in their contractual negotiations with publishers and producers. Delegations from songwriters and composers raised the importance of ensuring that the proposals of the European Commission with regards to online service providers are supported and not weakened by the European Parliament. Secretary General Patrick Ager outlined in this regard the ECSA strategy for the next couple of months.

Regarding unfair copyright contracts, the General Assembly welcomed the recent ameliorations of the German copyright contract law, especially with regards to the new German rights reversion mechanism. The delegates called upon ECSA executives to urge the European Parliament to introduce a similar rights reversion mechanism on EU level applicable after 5 years of contract duration in order to create a level playing field for all creators in Europe.

Further items on the ECSA agenda were a presentation on the implementation of the Collective Rights Management Directive from Burak Özgen, Senior Legal Advisor of GESAC, an in depth assessment of the third year of ECSA’s Creative Europe Programme and a presentation of the new application for the years 2017-2020.

The ECSA General Assembly took place in the framework of the ECSA Winter Session which included meetings of ECSA’s three genre specific committees (APCOE – popular music, FFACE – audiovisual music, ECF – contemporary art music) and performances in the framework of the ECCO (European Contemporary Composers Orchestra) and NMI (New Music Incubator) concert.

The ECCO performance featured the Sturm und Klang Ensemble conducted by Thomas Van Haeperen who performed works from Kari Beate Tandberg (NO), Geir Sundbø (NO), Grégory d’Hoop (BEL), Denis Bosse (BEL) and Jukka-Pekka Lehto (FIN) in the presence of four out of the five selected composers and over 100 guests.

Finally, ECSA wishes to once again welcome its new members GALM – Genootschap voor Artiesten Lichte Muziek (Belgium), DKV – Deutscher Komponistenverband (Germany), ECU – Estonian Composers’ Union (Estonia) as well as supportive members FACDIM – Fondazione Adkins Chiti. Donne in Musica (Italy) and LALO – Les Auteurs et leurs Oeuvres  (France). ECSA is delighted to now represent 54 composer and songwriter organisations from all over Europe.

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About ECSA:

The European Composer and Songwriter Alliance (ECSA) represents over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 26 European countries. With 54 member organisations across Europe, the Alliance speaks for the interests of music creators of art & classical music (contemporary), film & audiovisual music, as well as popular music.

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