New EU copyright laws will ensure fair remuneration for artists while protecting online freedom

13 September 2018

New EU copyright laws, which the European Parliament will begin negotiations on with the Commission and national governments following yesterday’s vote, will ensure creators and publishers of copyrighted content receive fair remuneration for their work while protecting online freedom, Labour MEPs said.

Crucially, MEPs backed the two key articles in the draft directive, Articles 11 and 13.

Article 11 concerns the protection of press publications and their digital use. The article protects the use of content and seeks to remunerate publishers and writers whose copy is appropriated by third party publishers.

Article 13 concerns the use of protected content by online sharing service providers. It addresses the ‘value gap’ by ensuring musicians and performers are remunerated if their work appears on user-uploaded video platforms.

The parliament now has a mandate to enter negotiations with the European Commission and member states.

Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said:

"New legislation is needed to keep pace with technology - the EU's existing rules on copyright were written years ago, before the age of Google and YouTube and the widespread use of the internet.

“These new laws will ensure workers receive fair remuneration while protecting online freedom. There will be no censorship or limits on free speech and no bans on hyperlinks or parodying, nor were there ever any proposals for such measures.

“Artists, writers, musicians, indeed all creators and publishers of original content are not adequately protected under the current rules, and that is why it is vital these long-overdue updates to copyright law are negotiated and agreed on as soon as possible, to ensure workers are remunerated properly.

“Thousands of jobs in Britain depend on the creative industries, which contribute hundreds of millions of pounds to the economy and are one of our fastest growing sectors. It is crucial to act now to ensure creators are protected and are paid for their work.”

Labour MEP Paul Brannen added:

“The vote was to ensure creative workers get fairly paid for their work and are not exploited by large online platforms. It closes the value gap, and generates income to reinvest in content and create new work.

“Creative workers should be fairly remunerated. Would we dream of turning to other EU workers and ask them to give their work for free? This is about values, paying creative workers properly for their work, protecting them against exploitation and ending the unfair monopoly of big platforms.”

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