Music artists want platforms like YouTube to share revenue fairly

Maltese music creators meet MEP Therese Comodini Cachia ahead of the EU’s copyright overhaul

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Matthew Vella
14 March 2017, 4:14pm
MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (centre) with Maltese musicians and songrwiters
MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (centre) with Maltese musicians and songrwiters
The Performing Rights Society, the collecting society which represents songwriters, composers and music publishers in Malta, hosted a roundtable with Nationalist MEP Therese Comodini Cachia, discussing the future of the music industry in Europe. 

The roundtable coincided with Comodini Cachia’s report on the future of copyright law in Europe, which will have a profound impact on the future of the creative industries in Malta and around Europe.

Renowned composer Paul Abela, Scream Daisy founder Brendan Jackson, nosnow/noalps frontman Nick Morales, as well as other Maltese musicians and songwriters, explained to Comodini Cachia how digital technologies are changing the way music is consumed, and the impacts on songwriters.

The songwriters and composers set out their concerns that services such as YouTube, are generating billions of euros in revenue from providing access to music and other content but are sharing little of that income with the creators. They urged Comodini Cachia to support legal measures to ensure digital platforms are required to share more fairly the income generated in order to safeguard the future of Europe’s creative industries.

“Artists and performers are at the heart of the creation of works which so many of us enjoy,” Comodini Cachia said.

“Yet they, together with other right holders, face several copyright-related challenges within a continuously changing market dependent on fluid user consumption patterns. I am certain that right holders do not want to bring down the channels which bring their works closer to consumers, but do want to have their rights recognised and to be able to retain the value of those rights.

“There are instances these challenges have been addressed by market-led solutions. Further legal certainty which does not itself cause serious market disruption is however needed.”

John Mottram, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at PRS for Music said: “the European Parliament, and Dr Comodini Cahica in particular, have a unique opportunity to create an online market which works for everyone, in which users can continue to enjoy easy access to great music, TV and films but where creators, who are the foundation of Europe’s creative sector, can share in the vast revenues being generated. We are grateful for Dr Comodini’ s commitment to understand the issues facing songwriters and composers and the need for a strong and fair copyright regime so our members can continue to create the music we love.”

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Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.