Music industry defiant after setback in copyright battle

The music industry has vowed to fight on in its battle to secure a bigger slice of online revenues for singers, artists and songwriters. The pledge follows a major setback last week in the European Parliament where, despite the best efforts of campaigners including Sir Paul McCartney, MEPs voted 318 to 278 against proposed copyright reform.

The draft Copyright Directive – which was vehemently opposed by tech companies such as Google’s YouTube and Facebook – pushed for improved transparency in royalty accounting for performers and creators, and fairer payments in the digital world.

Horace Trubridge, Musicians’ Union General Secretary, says the ruling was the result of the tech industry using “its considerable political influence to deny creators and rights owners a fair share of the enormous riches that they derive from their businesses”.

“These multi-billion pound companies would have nothing to offer their customers and users were it not for the efforts of musicians, songwriters and producers, yet they are allowed to continue to deny the creative community their rightful share,” Trubridge says.

“The fight goes on and we will redouble our efforts to convince the legislators they must act to bring an end to this appalling injustice.”

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of royalties organisation PRS for Music, says:“It is perhaps unsurprising considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals.”

MEPs will now further debate on the issue in September. In the meantime the music industry and tech industries are stepping up their lobbying efforts in preparation for round two.

Facebook says: “We hope that the debate going forward will focus on the original mission of protecting copyright and ensuring a vibrant marketplace for content creation.”