Industry fallout on Copyright Directive: new open letters juxtaposed

8 February 2019

A letter co-signed by music right holders representatives, including IMPALA and IFPI, calls upon EU legislators to drop the Copyright Directive based on the Council’s latest proposals. Concluding that “we would rather have no Directive at all than a bad Directive”, the letter expresses concerns about the impact the Directive will have on the European creative sector, of which the subscribing organisations will not support. The stance by IMPALA and IFPI appears to be part of a growing discontent with the direction of the Directive (see an early statement of support for the Directive here, and a later softening of their position in 2019 here). Other co-signees, including Premier League and LaLiga have previously requested the disapplication of new liability rules from their respective industries.

Later, a further letter, issued in response to this by five music organisations (and jointly writing under The UK Council of Music Makers) expresses “[huge] disappointment” in the stance of the aforementioned representatives, saying that “it is sad to see labels and publishers turn on their creators and artists in this way”. The letter also claims that this protest goes beyond article 13, and is instead also a backlash against the new transparency requirements detailed in articles 14-16. Surmising, they call for the backing of the UK Government and UK Music in supporting the Directive.

Lastly, a new letter issued by various members of the film and audiovisual industry (including IVF and APA) urges EU legislators to reconsider the proposed legislation, and “strongly oppose[s] the notion that a Directive must be agreed at any price”. The letter in fact calls for a return to the principles that were initially iterated in 2016, and creation of “promised new rights” for content producers (namely under a new liability regime for ISPs). However, and as also noted by TechDirt, these same organisations previously advocated for the deletion of these very same “new rights” (namely article 13).