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UK Awaits Vote Tomorrow On Musician-Friendly ‘Article 13’ And Even McCartney Weighs In

CherryX per Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
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EUROPE (CelebrityAccess) Musicians, including Paul McCartney, plus music industry associations and others are urging European politicians to vote in favor tomorrow of Article 13, which would tamp down on alleged copyright infringement of musical works by online platforms like YouTube.

Article 13 is part of the the Copyright Directive that would compel “online content sharing service providers” to take “effective and proportionate” measures to fight against sharing copyrighted works. The article would stop platforms like YouTube from acting as “free riders, pocketing the value of these creative works and failing to pass this value on to its creators.”

Critics maintain that Article 13 would be nothing less than the end of the internet as we know it, restricting it from its freewheeling, Wild West spirit.

However, supporters in the music community are vast (1,300 musicians, in fact, including Placido Domingo, James Blunt and Max Martin), with even Sir Paul McCartney weighing in today.

“Dear Members of the European Parliament,” McCartney wrote to parliamentarians. “I write to urge your support for the mandate on Copyright in the upcoming plenary vote this week. Music and culture matter. They are our heart and soul. But they don’t just happen: they demand the hard work of so many people. Importantly, music also creates jobs and economic growth and digital innovation across Europe.

“Unfortunately, the value gap jeopardizes the music ecosystem. We need an Internet that is fair and sustainable for all. But today some User Upload Content platforms refuse to compensate artists and all music creators fairly for their work, while they exploit it for their own profit.

“The proposed Copyright Directive and its Article 13 would address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators, fans and digital music services alike. …

“Please vote to uphold the mandate on Copyright and Article 13. You hold in your hands the future of music here in Europe.”

Among other proponents are French performance rights organization Sacem, whose secretary-general David El Sayegh said today that the online sharing service platforms “currently benefit from the uploading and sharing of creative works but do not remunerate artists for the value of their work,” according to IQ magazine.

Eighty-four major European creative sectors have endorsed Article 13. There has also been a petition signed by 20,000 creators.

Critics, on the other hand, are also plentiful, with more than 70 tech supporters, including the so-called creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, weighing in, sending an open letter to European Parliament president Antonio Tajani EMP that sharing of information is “a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.”

Particularly concerning is a provision in the article that calls for “effective and proportionate” efforts to remove and copyrighted material and to keep it off the internet, which critics say would implement “censorship machines,” as IQ noted.

Article 13 would also wind up banning memes, they note.

The Copyright Directive is available here.

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