MEPs Meet the Authors in Strasbourg

On 11 December, a delegation of 13 authors from all over Europe and varying from popular YouTube videographer Florence Porcel to music legend Murray Head, all came to Strasbourg for a Meet the Authors event. They held a press conference with shadow rapporteur for the Copyright Directive Jean-Marie Cavada and spoke with Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, Vice-President of the EP Sylvie Guillaume, MEP Heinz becker, at an event kindly hosted by the co-chairs of the CCI Intergroup, MEPs Ehler and Berès.

Insisting on the need to keep a united front, MEP Ehler restated his full support to authors, together with his colleagues from both the Commission and the Parliament. Commissioner Mariya Gabriel indicated that the Commission would play its role as a negotiator, keeping in mind the original aims of the initial proposal as published in September 2016. She had also spoken to Volker Riek and Stefan Hervig earlier in the day, two German bloggers whose extensive research on the long arm of Google and the anti-copyright directive campaign had been decisive in creating the much-needed awareness of foul play and an over-inflated sense of public outcry over the Directive in the Summer of 2018.

MEP Cavada expressed his dismay at the campaign held by tech giants that was deemed unprecedented, both in terms of its economic scope and of its targets (currently young children and teenagers). Also speaking at the Meet the Authors event was Vice president of the European Parliament, Sylvie Guillaume, who equally denounced the violent tactics of tech giants in this campaign.

Authors Cesar Sampson, Murray Head, Jean-Marie Moreau, Florence Porcel, Emily Loizeau, DaSilva, and Hind Hakki, all spoke passionately about the need to have a Directive on the table that tackles the transfer of value and the unacceptable imbalance of power between creators and tech giants. "If we don't fix [the transfer of value/value gap] now, when will we?" asked Austrian Eurovision contestant Cesár Sampson, pointing out that because of the value being transferred to tech giants, many authors cannot currently make a decent living, younger authors are dissuaded from even entering the profession, and older authors are finding it increasingly difficult to retire.

GESAC wishes to warmly thank the decision-makers present at this event, and all those who've shown their unwavering support to culture and creators in this process. Today also marked an important milestone in the Horizon Europe budget, which was successfully voted by an overwhelming majority in parliament, following excellent work by rapporteurs Dan Nica and Christian Ehler, whom we congratulate for this great victory.

Published on 12 December 2018