On 5 September, the letter that you signed was given in person by French visual artist Daniel Buren to the Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Andrus Ansip. The final list of signatories will be sent to the President of the European Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker. On 14 September, a week before the announced date of 21 September, the European Commission announced its « copyright package ». Over 22.000 creators signed the letter to Mr. Juncker, and we are convinced that this made a great difference in the outcome of the text that was presented yesterday. Thank you for supporting this crucial initiative! The Commission chose to no longer ignore the transfer of value that is taking place online. It openly mentions this (calling it the “value gap”), and sees that platforms should not be able to make profits off your works without sharing the revenues appropriately. But, the battle has only just begun: although the Commission’s text is a first step in recognising the problem, it is far from addressing it in a way that will ensure a fair sharing of profits by large platform services. The text will now go through the European Parliament and the 28 Member States (the European Council). It is essential that the voices of creators are heard and that copyright opponents don’t get away with pretending to represent your interests. If you want to get involved, contact your local authors’ society and see what you can do.
Dear President Juncker,
We, authors from all artistic sectors, ask that your announced legislative proposal on copyright be a reflection of the needs of creators and their struggle to get a fair deal from the online use of their works. We ask that today more than ever you acknowledge the importance of culture for our united and diverse European identity.
Our sector is one of Europe's top employers and contributes to the continent's force and wealth. Yet emerging artists and the next generation of creators are faced with an unsustainable situation where earning a living from their work is progressively put at risk.
Today, our works can instantly reach far and wide thanks to the Internet, and consumers increasingly rely solely on online access to music, films, TV shows, photos, images, etc. We embrace easier, wider and faster access to works and want consumers to enjoy this opportunity, but only if fair and negotiated remuneration follows.
The dominant players on the market, like YouTube, are platforms built on user uploaded or aggregated content that don't or only barely provide remuneration for our works. Worse yet, the fact that these platforms get away with this pulls the entire market value of creative works down in a never ending race to the bottom.
Start-ups and legitimate businesses are faced with inefficient market conditions, and creators are consistently harmed. It’s time to put an end to this! We want creative and artistic careers to exist and to be a viable choice for the next generation of Europeans.
The gravity of this problem calls for more than light fixes. Legislation should acknowledge that the platforms that play a key role in providing access to copyright protected content, whether it be user uploaded or aggregated, should no longer be able to escape liability for their copyright related activities.
Creators worldwide are being harmed by this outdated legislation. And all over the world, governments are waking up to this reality. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Europe to lead a movement that rebalances the market so that creators, consumers and smaller businesses alike get the best possible deal.
We urge you, Mr President, to do everything in your power to guarantee a fit-for-purpose copyright reform. One that will not tolerate an economic and legal loophole for free riders, or the perpetuation of unacceptable harm to creativity and economic growth in Europe.
More than 22 000 creators have signed the letter.
Here are just a few of those who were among the first signatories of the letter to the Commission’s President, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker:
- Agnieszka Holland, film director (PL)
- Air, music duo (FR)
- Albert Uderzo, illustrator (FR)
- Alejandro Sanz, musician (ES)
- Andrea Bocelli, singer songwriter (IT)
- Angélique Kidjo, singer, songwriter and composer (VP of CISAC)
- Bill Whelan, composer, musician (IE)
- Brendan Graham, songwriter (IE)
- Charles Aznavour, composer, singer, actor (CH)
- Daniel Buren, visual artist (FR)
- David Guetta, DJ, remixer (FR)
- Ennio Morricone, composer (IT)
- Iain Archer, singer–songwriter (UK)
- Jean-Jacques Goldman, singer songwriter (FR)
- Jia Zhang-ke, screenwriter, director (VP of CISAC)
- Jimmy Hogarth, songwriter (UK)
- Justice, electro music duo (FR)
- Klaus Meine, singer songwriter (The Scorpions) (DE)
- Marcelo Piñeyro, screenwriter, director (VP of CISAC)
- Mimis Plessas, composer (GR)
- Ousmane Sow, sculptor, visual artist (VP of CISAC)
- Pedro Almodóvar, film director (ES)
Find the whole list of signatories here.