HITS Daily Double


Will a new law require YouTube to negotiate licenses to host music? Google is busy fighting a proposal to do just that in front of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) while the music business is rallying hard against the internet giant.

Article 13 of the Copyright Directive proposes that all information society service providers (aka DSPs) shall ensure the functioning of agreements with rights holders for the use of their works, which was approved by European parliament’s legal affairs committee last week. A vote by MEPs on 7/5 will decide whether the proposal reaches the next stage.

In the meantime, Google has been accused of trying to manipulate the press into opposing the copyright rules. The FT reports that the search engine sent emails to publishers through its Digital News Innovation Fund—which supports digital journalism and innovation—saying the directive will impede the free flow of information and urging members to contact MEPs.

Helen Smith, executive chair of IMPALA, told the FT that Google was engaged in the “blatant manipulation of newspapers. It’s part of a wider campaign of disinformation on the new copyright regime, spamming the European Parliament every day with false claims that the new rules will introduce upload filters and break the internet.”

As of today, more than 32,000 creators have signed a petition urging EU decision makers to “fix the transfer of value” and ensure DSPs fairly pay for the use of creative works online.

“This is about copyright and specifically about the rights of creators versus those of the internet giants; it is about the way the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace,” Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of U.K. PRO PRS for Music, said. “It is a debate we must win if we want to secure our creative community into the next decade.”