Annual Activity Report 2019
GESAC’s 2019 Annual Report takes a look back at how the adoption of the Copyright Directive changed Europe’s creative landscape and marked a new begging for authors.
The report details how the Copyright and Broadcasting Directives were finally adopted, what they mean for Europe’s authors, and other key events from throughout the year.
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The Copyright Directive
In April 2019, the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was formally adopted. The directive will positively transform authors’ rights throughout the EU and each member state now has until 7 June 2021 to transpose the its reforms into their respective national law.
The reforms are an opportunity to address pressing issues for authors in the Digital Single Market and will promote the growth of European creative and cultural industries (CCI) – a major driver of Europe’s economy.
One of the biggest achievements of this new piece of legislation was addressing the ‘Transfer of Value’ problem. Transfer of Value, also known as the value gap, refers to the funnelling away of value from creators and into the hands of a number of online platforms. Read more here.
The Copyright Directive was a priority issue for all European creators because it directly affects their rights and the day-to-day use of their work. While the entire directive is important, below are some of the key areas that affect creators and those who profit from their work.
Transfer of Value – How Article 17 levels the playing field
Article 17, formerly Article 13, of the Copyright Directive directly addresses an issue that is commonly known as the Transfer of Value.
The Transfer of Value, also referred to as the value gap, is the funnelling away of value from creators into the hands of a number of online platforms, such as YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, Facebook etc..
Over the past decade, user uploaded content platforms have become the most popular way for people to access music and other creative works. This has its advantages, such as allowing creators to share their work far more widely than ever before. However, the downside is that these same creators were not being remunerated fairly, if at all, for their work, leading to a huge market imbalance that threatened their livelihoods.
Read more about the issue and how Article 17 will bring sweeping positive changes below.
The Broadcasting Directive
The Broadcasting Directive seeks to set clear rules for broadcasting online. GESAC and its members have a vested interest in this matter, in light of the fact that according to our annual numbers in 2017, 37% of their collections come from TV and radio broadcasting and retransmissions.
The European Commission intended to revise the rules of the existing Satellite and Cable Directive from 1993 in light of current online transmission possibilities and new forms of retransmission technologies.
The final text of the Broadcasting Directive, first proposed as a regulation by the Commission in 2016 with a slightly different scope to the adopted version, addresses the emerging problems in online broadcasting and deals with three important legal issues that play a crucial role in the functioning of the broadcasting market and remuneration of creators:
Cross-Border Portability Regulation
On 7 February 2017, the European institutions reached a deal over a final text for the Cross-Border Portability Regulation which addresses accessing subscription services while abroad.
The regulation will not directly affect the music sector (strongly represented within GESAC), which has been providing multi-territorial licenses, including portability, for many years. However, GESAC welcomes all initiatives that enable consumers to access more content more easily, within a clear legal framework that ensures a fair deal for all parties involved.
The CRM Directive
In February 2014, we welcomed the adoption of the Collective Rights Management (CRM) Directive. The Directive highlights the key role of collective management organisations (CMOs) in negotiating deals with licensees and securing fair remuneration to creators. It aims at setting European-wide standards of transparency and governance, which are essential to ensure that relationships with rightsholders and users are based on confidence.
The completed text of the Directive confirms the crucial role that author and rightsholder members play in overseeing the operations of their societies. It also sets a legal framework that accompanies the development of the online market for the cross-border use of music and the solutions already provided by CMOs to organise rights clearance in a manner that is efficient for users and respectful of rightsholders’ interests.
CMOs produce innovative solutions to assist the development of the online market both in the form of simplified licensing offers and in international collaborations driving greater efficiency in data management and better access to content. Common technical solutions and licensing hubs are examples of CMO leadership in this area. These solutions are crucial to swifter market development, and they offer up access to greater numbers of repertoires encouraging business users to access to the full range of creative content produced throughout the European Union.