Everything you need to know about the Transfer of Value


The transfer of value, also known as the value gap, is simply the funnelling of value away from creators to a number of online platforms.


Over the last years, user uploaded content platforms have become the most popular way for people to access music and other creative works. This has its advantages as it allows creators to share their works far more widely than ever before. The problem is that they are not being remunerated fairly for it, despite the significant role such services play in the market. Those platforms make huge amounts of money from providing access to these creative works through advertising and many other means, and yet are failing to share this profit fairly, if at all, with the creators.


Unfortunately, the way the law is being interpreted and imposed by these big platforms means that they are the only winners and they grow at the expense of creators.


What are the consequences?


This legal loophole means that it is harder for creators to earn a living from their work. Not only that, it also threatens the sustainability of the whole creative sector by distorting the market for legitimate online businesses.


What is being done to redress this unfair situation?


In September 2016, the Commission adopted a proposal that goes in the right direction. On 25th May 2018 the Council took its position, which includes certain good points and many others that are still to improve. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference and ensure the future of creation. In the European Parliament, the Legal Affairs Committee will vote for their report soon, on 21 June 2018. The line that has been taken by the rapporteur, Axel Voss, several shadow rapporteurs and also in the CULT and ITRE committees supports a sustainable solution to the transfer of value for creators in the digital market (article 13). 


What is article 13?


Article 13 is an article in the new Copyright Directive which would oblige the so-called online content sharing service providers to negotiate with rights holders (i.e. the creators of the works) and ensure that they too can benefit from the works they create. 


How Voss' proposal addresses the problem



Some important aspects need to be taken into account when analysing the Commission's proposal


Read GESAC's resources on the transfer of value here.


Read more from academics and other sources on the Copyright Directive and its attempt to tackle the transfer of value.


Read GESAC's in-depth views and explanations on the most debated aspects of the Transfer of Value/Value Gap proposals.