attends EPP hearing in the European Parliament

On Monday, October 1 many of the author societies we represent on this platform – as well as industry representatives such as Nokia and Spotify – gathered in the European Parliament to share their views on the proposed Collective Rights Management Directive.

The session was organised by French Member of Parliament for the European Peoples’ Party, Marielle Gallo. As Rapporteur with special responsibility for this file, Ms Gallo was naturally keen to hear all sides of the debate.

We agreed whole-heartedly with her overarching priorities on this issue going forward, which she outlined in her opening speech. They are:

1)      To ensure a fair deal for creators by ensuring authors receive the compensation they deserve for the use of their works

2)      To strengthen the digital single market – a crucial component for a robust and competitive internal market.

The session was divided into three panel discussions. The first panel mulled some of the provisions on governance and transparency laid out in the proposal.  Already, author societies take governance and transparency very seriously. In fact, even before the proposal was published CISAC – the international representative body of collective rights management societies – had voluntarily moved to improve the transparency of societies through yearly reporting obligations, oversight and sanctions in case of noncompliance.

So we welcome and endorse the broad objective of the draft Directive to establish high level standards for transparency, good governance and accountability of Collective Management Societies.  But what’s crucial is to avoid over regulation on these issues. To be efficient, author societies need the flexibility to manage their own organisation.

Obligations should also be imposed on rights users, too. After all, they are an important part of the collective rights ecosystem.

The second panel – involving several societies from across Europe – delved into the issue of multi-territory licenses and the final session looked at the changing relationship between consumers, commercial users and collecting societies in the digital era.

We were delighted to attend the event. It was a great opportunity to share our ideas – and listen to the views of other stakeholders in the debate. We hope it clarified some of the issues on Collective Rights Management for Ms Gallo – and we look forward to seeing the working paper at the end of this year!