Sunday

24th Jul 2016

Focus

Cut-throat lobbying ahead of MEPs' online music vote

  • Lobbying is intense ahead of the parliament vote on copyright of online music (Photo: EUobserver)

A petition signed by more than 350 songwriters and composers – including Annie Lennox and Robbie Williams – urging European lawmakers to reject a report on cross-border management of online music copyright, has been withdrawn after signatories denied having signed such a petition.

The International Federation of Music Publishers (ICMP/CIEM) sent a petition – seen by EUobserver – to MEPs on Thursday (8 March) ahead of a vote on the report on Tuesday (13 March).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The petition is one of many lobbying efforts lately. The amount of emails and phonecalls MEPs have received on the issue of collective cross-border management of online music have intensified over the last few weeks as interest in the report has increased in a last chance bid to influence the wording of the paper or the outcome of the vote.

"There has really been a lot of attention from all sides," a parliament official said. The EU digital music sector is set to become a €3.9 billion a year industry by 2011 and the parliament vote could have an effect on where the money goes.

The report – written by socialist Hungarian MEP Katalin Levai - has been delayed since November 2006 partly due to the heavy interest in the topic.

It fears a 2005 European Commission recommendation could lead to a "big-bang" style introduction of competition into the collective management of authors' rights and therefore damage cultural diversity in Europe, but at the same time it recognises a need for more - although restricted - competition in the area.

The ICMP petition said the commisssion recommendation on collective cross-border management of copyright and related rights – which could see a change in the way music copyright is managed across Europe - "supports and enhances our creative efforts which can only be good for our shared and diverse culture in our great Continent."

"The Commission recommendation on music on-line will result in our music reaching more consumers and we are committed to making this happen," the petition said and called for MEPs to "uphold the recommendation without change."

French singer and composer Dominique Pankratoff who himself is among the 350 on the list said "authors had been abused."

"I have not given any formal signature on the petition launched by ICMP," he said in an email on Friday (9 March).

English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, whose name is also on the list, un-knowingly signed the petition, according to his manager.

The ICMP/CIEM has denied the existence of the petition to EUobserver, but in an email – also seen by EUobserver – to the European Composers and Songwriters Alliance on Friday (9 March), the federation apologises for the petition.

The "ICMP has withdrawn the proposal of circulating a petition and has asked anyone who has received a draft of it by mistake to delete it," the email said, adding they "apologise for any upset it may have caused."

Investigation

ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW

The ECB has started to “bail out” Germany’s Volkswagen Group by buying its corporate bonds, but other EU-linked banks continue to shun the scandal-tainted firm.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event Agenda for 2016
  2. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  3. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  4. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  7. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  8. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  9. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  10. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company
  11. Access NowEuropol Supports Encryption. We Can Relax Now… Right?
  12. GoogleLearn about Google's projects across Europe on Twitter @GoogleBrussels

Latest News

  1. Munich attack might not have been terrorism
  2. A very British (and Corbynite) coup
  3. Poland 'changing for the worse' for Muslims and refugees
  4. EU aims to lift visas on Turks despite purge
  5. ECB in ‘bail-out’ of scandal-tainted VW
  6. EU failed to learn lesson from Brexit, Poland says
  7. UK accord on EU workers 'crucial', France says
  8. EU and US take different lines on Turkey crackdown