An amendment to the proposal for a Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market (the ‘Proposal’) creating a fair remuneration for authors and performers administered by Collective Management Organisations (‘CMOs’) collected from digital service providers was introduced in the final opinion of two Committees in the European Parliament, CULT and ITRE.
The amendment creates the right to a proportional remuneration for all creators where their creations are made available to the public (i.e. used online), administered by CMOs, and endorses a fragmented understanding of the nature of copyright in an online environment. Creators not currently paid proportionally are poised to benefit, but the advantages of the mechanism created are less obvious for the others.
In Brussels, the narrative of technology companies making a living on the back of content is gaining ground. Actors working on both sides of the fence should get involved and make sure their voice is heard.
Last year, we set out some of the most significant and controversial aspects of the European Commission’s proposal for a new Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (‘Proposal’). Since last September, stakeholders from all points on the policy spectrum have been engaged in intensive lobbying campaigns in an effort to influence the final shape of the Directive and ensure their business interests are not compromised. Almost one thousand opinions and draft amendments to the Proposal have been submitted from European Parliament Committees, including JURI, CULT, ITRE and IMCO, often reflecting the desires and concerns of certain pressure groups that have been engaging with them. With the final vote by the leading Committee1 fast approaching,2 stakeholders are preparing their sharpest arguments, which reveal a deep divide between them about how best to shape copyright laws fit for a continent in the digital age.
Reed Smith has been following the latest developments emanating from Brussels. Whilst the most vehemently debated issues remain the creation of filtering obligations for UGC platforms (Article 13), the creation of a new ancillary right for press publishers (Article 11), and the regulation of text and data mining when applied to copyright-protected content (Article 3), a more recent addition to the debate concerning the remuneration of authors and performers came as a surprise to many observers.