GESAC welcomes the Commission’s intention to rebalance the transfer of value

On the Communication by the Commission “Towards a modern, more European copyright framework”

 In the Communication adopted today, the Commission announced its ambition to rebalance the harmful transfer of value that currently defines the digital market for cultural content. A functioning market is one that includes those making the works. Today, many platform services claim to merely host user uploaded content or aggregate existing works. They often poorly, if at all, remunerate the creators whose works their business models are based on. GESAC welcomes the intention of the Commission to address this issue as a priority in its legislative initiative on copyright in 2016.

Nowadays, music, audiovisual works, photos, and images of visual art works are mostly available and shared through platform services like YouTube, Dailymotion, SoundCloud or Facebook. In fact, YouTube alone is the most popular access route to music in Europe. These platform services claim to be mere technical intermediaries and thus not liable for the copyright relevant content they provide access to.

This wrongful interpretation of the current law is harming creators, leading to market distortions that disadvantage legitimate online services like Spotify, Deezer or iTunes, and driving down the overall value of cultural content in the online environment. This is one of the most important issues for creators as regards their future in the digital market and requires a solution in the forthcoming copyright review.

Sharing value fairly with those who feed the value chain is a perequisite for a functionning digital market place for creative works” explained GESAC General Manager Véronique Desbrosses in reaction to the Commission’s Communication. She added that “GESAC supports the constructive approach of the Communication on this key issue for creators and for the development of the Digital Market.”

Moreover, GESAC notes the Commission’s intention to further harmonise certain exceptions and is concerned by the absence of accompanying compensation schemes.

Furthermore, GESAC stresses that private copying remuneration shemes play a crucial role for creators and for the ecosystem of cultural creation in Europe and invites the Commission to carefully consider this point.

Regarding the “panorama exception”, GESAC emphasises that there is no need for further EU intervention, which would only create more uncertainty and would lead to an even weaker situation for the many struggling visual artists, while bringing no added value to market players.

GESAC will closely follow the Commission’s works on all aspects of the Communication to ensure in particular that the remuneration of authors can be further improved, and current developments on cross-border access can continue.


On the Proposal for a Regulation on Portability

GESAC also takes note of the Commission’s intention to ensure the portability of all online subscription services across the EU in a legislative proposal released today. Such services are already provided in the existing cross-border licences offered by authors’ societies.


See the full press release here.