UK Music delivers “clarion call” to Brussels as industry turns out in force to back proposed changes to EU copyright law

UK Music led a top-level delegation to Brussels today (June 26) in a united show of force to back proposed changes to EU copyright law.

Shadow Culture Secretary and deputy Labour leader Tom Watson joined UK Music CEO Michael Dugher in the fight to make sure tech firms properly pay those who invest in and create British music.

They were joined by UK music business leaders, who headed to Brussels to urge Euro MPs to vote in support of changes to copyright law – which could help halt the “transfer of value” from music creators to digital service providers like Google-owned YouTube.

The delegation came just hours after Google triggered ferocious criticism by trying to persuade news publishers to lobby against the positive changes with its bogus claim that the proposed Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive would curb internet freedoms.

The music industry wants MEPs to vote in favour of a directive that would create a new legal framework to make sure that internet firms pay creators and respect the content they distribute online.

Under the proposed changes in the copyright directive, internet giants like YouTube would be required to obtain and pay for a licence to use content.

At today’s summit in the European Parliament organised by UK Music – the umbrella body for the commercial music industry  – Tom Watson and Michael Dugher urged Labour Euro MPs to support the changes.

Commenting, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said:

“The UK music industry is totally united on this issue. The contribution of music to the UK economy is nearly £4.5 billion. Music outperforms in every part of the economy bar one – and that’s average earnings, which are less in our sector than in the rest of the economy.

“It’s time for Google’s YouTube to stop ripping off the creators and investors behind our world-beating music.”
Commenting, Shadow Culture Secretary and Deputy Labour Leader Tom Watson said:

“The UK music sector and the many tens of thousands of jobs it protects speaks with one voice – I can’t tell you how vital it is.
“I do remember Labour’s Clause IV that says we have got to secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry. Google are trying to prevent that from happening.

“What the music industry is doing is uniting with a clarion voice to say we want to able to make sure that creators get paid properly to keep the talent pipeline on stream, and make sure the UK music industry remains a global leader.”

The meeting today was chaired by Labour Euro MP Theresa Griffin.

Among the UK music business leaders and UK Music members attending were Jackie Alway (Chair, Music Publishers Association), Paul Pacifico (CEO, Association of Independent Music), John Mottram (Head of Public Affairs, PRS for Music) and Ian Moss (Director of Public Affairs, BPI).

Members of the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP) who attended included MEPs Mary Honeyball, Jude Kirton-Darling, Julie Ward, Rory Palmer, Sion Simon, Neena Gill and Alex Mayer.

A full European Parliament Plenary vote on the copyright directive is expected to take place on July 5.