Music contributes to our European identity
We are all too aware how severely this unprecedented crisis has affected the cultural and creative sectors, in particular the world of music. It was heartbreaking to see clubs and concert halls forced to shut down, leaving the artists and those supporting them without any income.
This happened at a time when, due to the changing patterns of music consumption, live acts and concerts had become one of the most important income sources for music performers.
My priority was to act quickly, within my remit, to help the cultural and creative sector including the music sector. Over the last eight or nine months, we have seen, on the one hand, the sector’s extraordinary capacity to mobilise and be creative at all levels, but on the other, the need for resources, targeted investment, and greater support in such critical moments.
Indeed, it was to music that we turned to keep our spirits up; music has helped us maintain a sense of community at a time when social distancing became the norm. I take this opportunity to thank all the professionals from the music industry for what they gave us.
Music has helped us maintain a sense of community at a time when social distancing became the norm
For this reason, there are strong calls for Member States to dedicate at least 2% of national recovery and resilience facility budgets to culture. This would come in addition to other horizontal measures that we introduced to kickstart the economy, which are also beneficial for the cultural and creative sectors. We have promoted these measures and encouraged our partners in the cultural sectors to tap into the possibilities these actions provide.
Let me highlight some examples of our recent initiatives to help the cultural sector and music in particular. First, we provided maximum flexibility to the beneficiaries of Creative Europe, the EU funding programme for the cultural and creative sectors, and allowed them to adjust their projects to the new realities.
We also accelerated the selection process for this year’s Creative Europe co-operation projects. This means in practical terms that €48.5 million is going directly to both small and large cultural projects that need our support the most in the middle of the pandemic.
In May, we launched the Creatives Unite platform to offer a common space for all cultural and creative sectors in Europe and beyond to share their initiatives in response to the crisis. Six months later, it has demonstrated great results, with over 26,000 visitors and 600 published posts. This illustrates the cultural and creative sectors’ tremendous capacity to work together.
Second, we came up with quick responses to address the challenges faced by the music sector under our Music Moves Europe initiative. A €2.5m call for proposals, which closed in November, will help support the sector’s recovery and sustainability post crisis.
Environmental, economic and social sustainability of the European music ecosystem is more topical than ever before
Environmental, economic and social sustainability of the European music ecosystem is indeed more topical than ever before. We can expect that the post-crisis revival will bring and require structural changes in the way the music ecosystem is operating, and we will be there to support the green, digital, just and social recovery of the sector.
We also launched a call for tenders to support European music export, taking into account the specific circumstances of the crisis. The call builds on the study prepared by the European Music Export Exchange with our financial support. Here, again, I would like to congratulate the music sector, which has been, from the very beginning, part of the solution, with the Music Declares Emergency initiative using the power of music to promote the cultural change needed to create a better future.
Music Moves Europe is also about music information and data. We have just published two studies on the feasibility of establishing a European music observatory, and an in-depth analysis of the European music market. We also launched four calls this year to support professionalisation, music education, co-operation of small music clubs, and co-creation and co-production schemes.
The selected projects can start early next year. In difficult times, these small amounts can make a great difference and can help clubs, creators, and performers resume their activities and survive the crisis.
Finally, let me stress the importance of the Music Moves Europe Talent Awards co-funded by our Creative Europe programme. This EU prize for popular and contemporary music puts a spotlight on young exciting talent and displays Europe’s vibrant and diverse music scene. It is even more important this year to help these young musicians find an audience. The winners of the 2021 edition will be announced on 15 January 2021 at Eurosonic.
Music is our universal language. It holds a unique, creative, and cohesive power, for societies and for individuals
With Music Moves Europe, we will continue our support to the music sector, especially with targeted funding through the Creative Europe programme. I am very proud that we achieved a significant increase in the budget for the next seven years, this will allow us to continue our support to culture, including music, in the future.
Looking forward, beyond Creative Europe, the music sector will also benefit from further support through other instruments. For instance, via Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation framework programme, which will have, for the first time, a dedicated cluster on culture, creativity and society, as well as a new Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on cultural and creative sectors and industries to drive innovation and support recovery in these industries.
Erasmus+ is another example. Recently we launched a Special Call worth €100m for Partnerships for Creativity, which focus on formal, informal and non-formal educational skills development and inclusion through creativity and the arts. My aim therefore will be to work on synergies among all these different instruments.
Music is our universal language. It holds a unique, creative, and cohesive power, for societies and for individuals. It is a vital part of our cultural heritage, and contributes to our European identity. For all the reasons we will continue to support the sector, and the people behind it. I look forward to working and strengthening our dialogue with the music sector.
Mariya Gabriel is the European commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education and youth.
#WeAreLive: Umbrella group petitions EU for help
#WeAreLive, a coalition of event industry associations in more than a dozen northern European countries, has lodged a petition with the European Parliament to ask for “urgent measures” to save millions of jobs continent-wide.
The organisation – whose membership comprises industry associations in Poland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Croatia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Serbia and Russia – is demanding grants equivalent to 75% of companies’ fixed costs, along with the extension of existing loans, the suspension of existing EU aid framework (whose limitations, #WeAreLive says, prevent “real help for hard-hit” companies) and for EU officials to enter into real “rescue dialogue” with the events sector.
With members including the International Live Events Association Europe (Germany), Polish Event Industry Association, Sponsorship and Event Association (Norway) and Event Industry Association of Lithuania, #WeAreLive represents over 20,000 companies with more than 500,000 employees and 200,000 apprentices.
In total, the organisation says, the events sector is the 13th largest industry in Europe, generating €172.6 billion in direct GDP and supporting 2.9 million jobs.
“Governments should be looking for drivers like events to grow the economy”
In the petition, the full text of which can be read here, the associations say the live events sector must “be recognised by national and regional governments for its value now, and not in hindsight, after we are beyond saving from the outcome of Covid-19”.
“At times like this, when the recovery is so critical to our organisations, our society and our economy overall, the power of events is something that can be central in reaching this goal,” it continues. “Governments should be looking for drivers like this that grow the economy.”
The petition further urges that events is treated as an industry in its own right, rather than bundled in with culture, tourism or foreign affairs. “This [current] disunity condemns us to the lack of common solutions, help and strategies for the development of the industry at an European level,” it reads.
Dolors Montserrat, chair of the EU’s committee, has already confirmed the #WeAreLive petition is “admissible” and will be considered by the European Commission on a preliminary basis. However, it needs 200,000 signatures by EU citizens to ensure it is accepted by and debated in the European Parliament.
To sign the petition now, click here.
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“Landmark” EU legislation against ticket bots
Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have voted to outlaw the use of automated ticket-buying software or ticket bots, directly addressing the issue of ticket resale for the first time.
The new legislation also requires resellers to declare whether they are professional traders, strengthens existing regulations, and sets the minimum standard by which EU members must abide.
Ticket bots are at the forefront of discussions surrounding secondary ticketing, enabling touts to bulk buy concert tickets and resell at inflated prices. A recent study revealed that bots generate nearly 40% of all ticketing traffic, impacting both primary and secondary ticketing sites.
This is the first time that the European Parliament has set a common standard for ticket resale in cultural and sports events.
The legislation will form part of Annex 1 (#23a) of a revised Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which lists commercial practices which are unfair in all circumstances and will read: “reselling event tickets to consumers if the trader acquired them by using automated means to circumvent any imposed limit on the number of tickets that a person can buy or any other rules applicable to the purchase of tickets.”
“Everyone apart from touts loses out from bot bulk-buying of tickets”
Conservative MEP Daniel Dalton led the move to implement the legislation as part of the New Deal for Consumers initiative, which aims to strengthen consumer rights. It is hoped that the ruling will allow for more stringent provisions at national level.
“Everyone apart from touts loses out from bot bulk-buying of tickets,” says Dalton. “Real fans are either unable to see their favourite team or artist or are forced to pay many times the face value price, whilst event organisers are seeing their purchasing limits flagrantly violated.
“This first ban at a European level is an important first step, with the possibility to go further in future depending on how the ban works in practice.”
“We welcome the move to curb the use of bots in this first Europe-wide anti-touting law,” states Katie O’Leary of the Face-Value European Alliance for Ticketing (FEAT), an anti-ticket touting organisation dedicated to tackling resale from a continent-wide approach.
“As well as requiring professional sellers to identify themselves, it also enables member states to go further and potentially regulate the resale price of tickets.
“This [harmonised] approach is critical as secondary ticketing companies tend to exploit regulatory gaps between countries”
“Most importantly, this represents the first step in harmonising regulation across Europe. This approach is critical as secondary ticketing companies tend to exploit regulatory gaps between countries. There is still much to be done and we will be campaigning for tougher legislation in the next parliamentary term,” adds O’Leary.
Dr Johannes Ulbricht, a lawyer for German Music Promoters Association BDKV says his company supports the FEAT initiative, calling it “a step in the right direction”. FEAT is also supported by FanFair Alliance, Prodiss and the European Music Managers’ Alliance.
The European Council will formally adopt the legislation in June. Member states will then have a maximum of approximately two years to transpose the amendments into national law. The exact deadline will be set out in the directive once finalised.
In the UK, the ruling will be applicable throughout the two-year Brexit transition period, forming part of the country’s incumbent laws on consumer rights. The new legislation will aid national bodies such as the Competition and Markets Authority and the Advertising Standards Authority.
The UK introduced its own law criminalising ticket bots in 2017. The EU ruling follows the introduction of targeted bot legislation by other governments, including those in the United States, Ontario, British Columbia, South Australia and New South Wales.
Final article 13 text approved by EU negotiators
Negotiations on the much talked-about European Copyright Directive have concluded with an agreement on the final text, including the controversial Article 13 provision.
The final trilogue phase of the Copyright Directive talks began on Monday evening after EU member states voted last week on an agreed negotiating position. The text was finalised late evening on Wednesday 13 February.
The final text includes the controversial article 13 provision which has proved a point of contention between the music and technology industries and, more recently, has caused rifts within the music industry itself.
The article requires online content sharing platforms such as social networks or video-sharing sites like YouTube, to combat the sharing of copyrighted works and offer “fair remuneration”, by filtering posts or requiring licenses for user-generated content.
European music industry organisations have so far welcomed the news.
According to PRS for Music chief executive, Robert Ashcroft, the news of a final text is “a welcome relief for all involved”.
“This directive has generated an unprecedented level of debate and a wave of misinformation”
“This directive has generated an unprecedented level of debate and a wave of misinformation from the open internet lobby, so I commend all of those who have battled through it to arrive at a text to put to the European Parliament,” says Ashcroft.
“Our mission has only ever been to achieve a fair and functioning digital market and, as a result, fair reward for creators. Subject to final scrutiny of the text and the forthcoming vote in Parliament it looks today as though we are going to achieve our aim.”
Harald Heker, chief executive of the German society for musical performing and mechanical reproduction rights (GEMA), says the directive has “been overdue for years”.
“Thanks to the directive, online platforms will finally have to pay authors a fair remuneration for the usage of their works,” comments Heker. “The draft of the directive that we now have in front of us imposes a higher level of responsibility onto the online platforms and strengthens the position of creators as well as internet users at the same time.”
Véronique Desbrosses, director general of the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers (GESAC) calls the development a “major achievement” and thanks decision-makers for reaching an agreement on a “complex and sensitive piece of legislation.”
“It [the directive] will enable creators to be remunerated fairly by large online platforms that today are siphoning the value of the creative sector while failing to compensate creators.”
“The directive will enable creators to be remunerated fairly by large online platforms that are siphoning the value of the creative sector”
Both Desbrosses and GESAC president, Anders Lassen, emphasise that a careful assessment of the final text is still required.
Last week, representatives from the music industry including the International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP), International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA), wrote an open letter calling on negotiators to halt proceedings on the current European Copyright Directive and stating the proposal would “cause serious harm” to the industry.
In response, the UK’s Council of Music Makers voiced its support for the directive, criticising the collective’s stance and accepting the directive as a “compromise”.
Executive chair of IMPALA, Helen Smith, commends EU institutions on a “great job reaching the compromise in time”, stating that the organisation believes their “concerns were heard.”
“We need to see the final text, but this legislation will be the first time anywhere in the world that there is absolute confirmation that user upload services are covered by copyright and need a licence,” says Smith.
The final proposal will now go before the European Parliament legal affairs committee before a final vote takes place in late March or early April. The agreement is a major step towards turning the directive into law.
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“A setback but not the end”: Rights bodies lament Article 13 defeat
Collecting societies and performance rights organisations across Europe have reacted with disappointment to the rejection of the proposed EU Copyright Directive by MEPs earlier today.
In the run-up to today’s vote, music industry bodies and their counterparts in the tech sector were sharply divided on the merits of the new directive, especially its controversial Article 13: songwriters’ representatives say the legislation would ensure fair remuneration of creators when their works are used online, while internet freedom activists, including the web’s creator, Tim Berners Lee, have said it would transform the internet into a “tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”.
The directive’s critics are particularly concerned that Article 13 – which would compel “online content sharing service providers”, such as social networks or video-sharing sites like YouTube, to take “effective and proportionate” measures to combat the sharing of copyrighted works – would require the implementation of automated copyright checking systems, dubbed “censorship machines” or “upload filters”.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted this morning 318–278 in favour of rejecting the bill in its current form, with a further plenary session debating its content set for September. “I regret that a majority of MEPs did not support the position which I and the legal affairs committee have been advocating,” says German MEP Axel Voss. But this is part of the democratic process. We will now return to the matter in September for further consideration and attempt to address people’s concerns while bringing our copyright rules up to date with the modern digital environment.”
Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of the UK’s PRS for Music, says lobbying by big tech companies – if you believe UK Music, €31m from Google alone – influenced the outcome of the vote. “It is perhaps unsurprising, considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote, that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals,” says Ashcroft.
“The vote showed that many MEPs across the various European political parties understand the importance of fixing the transfer of value and of a well-functioning market for copyright. We appreciate their support and hope that as we move forward to the plenary debate in September, more MEPs will recognise the unique opportunity to secure the EU’s creative industries.
“We will not be discouraged by today’s decision, and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world”
“From the outset, our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace – and currently, for artists and authors, it doesn’t. They want their creative works to be heard, they embrace technology, but they want to be paid fairly. We will continue to fight for what we believe is their freedom and a fair use of their creative works.”
David El Sayegh, the secretary-general of PRS’s French counterpart, Sacem, comments: “This vote is a setback but it is not the end. Sacem remains dedicated to ensuring that creators are recognised and remunerated for the value of their work. We will not be discouraged by today’s decision and will continue to mobilise the support of musicians and music lovers across the world, in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement with these platforms that will safeguard the future of the music industry.
“We are confident that the European Parliament will eventually support a framework that fully acknowledges the rights of creators in the digital landscape of the 21st century.”
BPI, the association of UK record labels and organiser of the Brit Awards, says in a statement: “We respect the decision by MEPs to have a plenary discussion on the draft Copyright Directive. We will work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users and the technology sector.”
Gesac (the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers), which represents 31 collection societies, says the defeat marks a “missed opportunity to fix the current unfairness in the digital market once and for all”.
“The EU parliament has recognised that machine censorship of copyrighted material is not an easy and simple fix”
“This vote was never about censorship or freedom of speech. It was only about updating the copyright rules for the 21st century and ensuring that creators get a fair remuneration when their works are used in the digital space,” says Gesac president Anders Lassen. “[U]nfortunately, manipulative campaigns orchestrated by tech giants, based on scaremongering, prevailed on this occasion. We are confident that the European Parliament will finally approve what is right for the future of the EU’s economy, competitiveness and fundamental values against these global forces”.
While PRS and their allies have sought to paint the ‘no’ vote as a temporary stay on the legislation while MEPs consider their options, the directive’s opponents are, unsurprisingly, claiming victory in what privacy campaigner Jim Killock, executive director of Open Rights Group, calls “round one of the robo-copyright wars”.
“The EU parliament has recognised that machine censorship of copyrighted material is not an easy and simple fix. They’ve heard the massive opposition, including internet blackouts and 750,000 people petitioning them against these proposals.
“Everyone across Europe who wants this fixed will have to work hard to make sure that parliament comes up with a sensible way forward by September.”
Meanwhile, Julia Reda, an MEP for Pirate Party Germany, tweeted that anti-Article 13 campaigners’ “protests have worked”:
Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board. All MEPs will get to vote on #uploadfilters and the #linktax September 10–13. Now let's keep up the pressure to make sure we #SaveYourInternet! pic.twitter.com/VwqAgH0Xs5
— Julia Reda (@Senficon) July 5, 2018
The next vote will take place from 10 to 13 September 2018.
This article will be updated.
Music biz, internet on collision course ahead of Article 13 vote
Musicians, songwriters, collection societies and music industry associations are urging European parliamentarians to vote in favour of Article 13 tomorrow, as the gulf widens between supporters and critics who warn the controversial new EU Copyright Directive could “destroy the internet as we know it”.
French collection society/performance rights organisation Sacem today became the latest organisation to come out in favour of the Copyright Directive, saying its Article 13 – which would compel “online content sharing service providers”, such as social networks or video-sharing sites like YouTube, to take “effective and proportionate” measures to combat the sharing of copyrighted works – would end a culture in which digital platforms act as “free riders, pocketing the value of these creative works and failing to pass this value onto its creators”.
“Online content sharing service platforms have become an integral part of the musical ecosystem, acting as the main access point to enjoy and share music. However, these platforms currently benefit from the uploading and sharing of creative works but do not remunerate artists for the value of their work,” says Sacem secretary-general David El Sayegh.
“The value gap this generates is a real threat to the longer term viability of the creative industries worldwide,” he adds.
Sacem’s intervention – which comes the day after the Italian Wikipedia blocked users from viewing any of its pages, in protest at the legislation, which co-founder Jimmy Wales calls “a serious threat to our mission”– serves to illustrate the stark contrast between the rhetoric coming from the music industry and that of tech companies and internet culture more widely.
While artists such as Sir Paul McCartney claim the directive “would address the value gap and help assure a sustainable future for the music ecosystem and its creators”, critics claim Article 13 would transform the internet from an open platform for the sharing of information into “a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users”.
“It isn’t censorship to allow artists the right to choose to be paid for their work”
Writing last month to European Parliament president Antonio Tajani MEP, more than 70 tech luminaries, including Wales and the creator of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, said the proposals present an “imminent threat to the future of this global network [the internet]”.
Of particular concern is the text of Article 13, whose provision for “effective and proportionate” efforts to remove – and prevent the reappearance of – copyrighted content, say opponents, would require the implementation of automated copyright checking systems, dubbed “censorship machines” by critics.
“We support the consideration of measures that would improve the ability for creators to receive fair remuneration for the use of their works online,” reads the letter. “But we cannot support Article 13, which would mandate internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship deep into their networks.
“For the sake of the internet’s future, we urge you to vote for the deletion of this proposal.”
Internet freedom activists additionally claim Article 13 would effectively ban memes – the internet fads, often in the form of a humorous picture or video overlaid with text, that spread virally across the web – leading creators to repackage popular memes sans copyrighted material, to highlight what they see as the absurdity of the proposed legislation.
However, writing in MBW last week, Crispin Hunt, chair of the British Association of Composers, Songwriters and Authors, accused Article 13’s critics of “relying wholly on an ability to weave a narrative that has no relationship to fact”.
“Article 13 would mandate internet platforms to embed an automated infrastructure for monitoring and censorship”
“The reality is that Article 13 is hardly revolutionary,” says Hunt. “It is a modest proposal that returns some sense of fairness and responsibility to the manner in which internet platforms operate. We have had almost 20 years of experience under the existing regime, where platforms have almost no accountability to the public, and in which they are rewarded for wilful blindness and inaction.”
He concludes by urging European policymakers to “reject the incoherent anti-Article 13 lobbying” for “the sake of European culture, our democratic political institutions and our economic well-being”.
Umbrella body UK Music, meanwhile, yesterday fired an extraordinary broadside at Google for what it calls a “big-money” lobbying campaign aimed at scuppering Article 13 “because it would force the tech giant to pay much higher fees for the music it streams on YouTube”.
“Google has made vast sums of money behaving like a corporate vulture, feeding off the creators and investors who generate the music content shared by hundreds of millions on YouTube,” says chief executive Michael Dugher. “These EU copyright changes are aimed at ending an injustice that has seen Google’s YouTube and other big tech firms ripping off creators for far too long.”
According to UK Music, Google has spent a combined €31m on lobbying to that end, including through two European Parliament industry forums.
“These new figures expose the fact that Google is acting like a monolithic megacorp, trying to submerge the truth under a tsunami of misinformation and scare stories pedalled by its multi-million propaganda machine,” continues Dugher.
“Google has made vast sums of money behaving like a corporate vulture”
“Instead of mounting a cynical campaign, motivated entirely out of its self-interested desire to protect its huge profits, Google should be making a positive contribution to those who create and invest in the music. MEPs should ignore the big money lobbying from big tech and back fair rewards for creators.”
Unsurprisingly, each side accuses the other of peddling falsehoods: in a blog post yesterday, Robert Ashcroft, CEO of PRS for Music, criticised “the internet giants and the consumer organisations they fund” for “whipp[ing] up a social media storm of misinformation about the proposed changes in order to preserve their current advantage”; respected tech site Techdirt hit back by saying the collection society is spreading “intellectually dishonest bullshit”, with the aim of ensuring “every platform will just buy a licence [from PRS] and only allow uploads from artists it represents”.
“It isn’t censorship to allow artists the right to choose to be paid for their work,” counters Geoff Taylor, CEO of the Brit Awards. “The right to an income provides the basic artistic freedom for musicians to be what they have always been: rebels and revolutionaries, entrepreneurs, counter-cultural campaigners, our conscience and our inspiration.
“Memes will continue to flood our Instagram feeds over an internet that won’t break, any more than the last time the tech lobby cried wolf to oppose creators’ rights. Maybe it is time for the tech companies just to say what they mean: ‘We prefer to make billions of dollars out of music and other content without paying the people who make it.’”
MEPs will vote to fairly reward music creators/destroy the internet (delete as appropriate) at 12 noon UK/central European time tomorrow.
European assocs rally in support of Music Moves Europe
A who’s who of European music industry associations, including Yourope, Live DMA, Italy’s Assomusica and the newly formed Innovation Network of European Showcases, have voiced their support for Music Moves Europe, a European Parliament-backed pilot project that aims to win monetary support for a “dedicated EU music programme” in the European Union’s next funding round.
A total of 29 industry groups gathered in Brussels last week for the launch of Music Moves Europe, which has been allocated an initial budget of €1.5 million to begin the “preparatory phases for a specific law on music”, similar to the EU’s existing audiovisual guidelines, according to EU agency EURICCA.
“The European Union is focusing on music and culture, and this is where we must step in, along with the major European music associations,” says Assomusica head Vincenzo Spera, while Jens Michow, of German promoters’ association BDV, adds the pilot is the “first step towards creating a promotional programme tailored to the needs of the music industry”.
In an open letter, representatives of the 29 associations urge European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to support the introduction of a full-scale European music project after the Music Moves Europe pilot ends in 2020.
“The music sector in Europe is very dynamic and an important contributor to jobs and growth, accounting for 1m jobs and over €25bn in turnover,” it reads. “Europe is home to some of the best composers, artists, music groups, concert halls, clubs, festivals, labels, publishers, producers, engineers, streaming services, music schools, radios, etc., covering all music genres and styles. And millions of Europeans are also actively making music, be it as amateurs or professionals.
“Let’s give ourselves the means to make this one of the EU’s great success stories”
“The sector is vibrant and eager to grow, but it also faces significant challenges.
“The music ecosystem must continue to shape and adapt to a fast-changing environment. The ways we listen, record, distribute and play music are constantly evolving. With these changes comes the need to update our tools and skills. All this costs time and money.
“And of course, one of the most crucial challenges is meeting European citizens’ appetite for culture and diversity, as part of their cultural rights. It is important to ensure that the widest diversity of European music can circulate and reach its audience, and that Europe’s artists and citizens are encouraged to fully express their creative freedom.
“This preparatory action is designed to be a first step towards filling a gap in today’s EU cultural policy. The next step is a tailor-made EU music programme with a budget which is proportionate to its economic, social and cultural contribution.
“Among other things, a fully-fledged music programme would help trigger more investment in the sector, boost diversity and increase the mobility of artists and repertoire across borders.
“Let’s give ourselves the means to make this one of the EU’s great success stories.”
EU workers’ directive ‘could lead to tour cancellations’
European live industry association Pearle* has warned that proposed EU legislation on the rights of ‘posted workers’ risks undermining the touring sector.
The European parliament’s employment committee voted on 16 October in favour of a revision to the Posting of Workers Directive 1996, proposed by MEPs Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (France) and Agnes Jongerius (Netherlands), which rules that EU workers in another member state are entitled to the same remuneration, including bonuses, as local workers.
A press release from the EU says the new legislation would ensure that “posted workers are better protected”, with Jongerius calling the bill “an important step to create a social Europe that protects workers and makes sure there is fair competition”.
“We must stop the race to the bottom in the European labour market,” she says, “to reach the goal of equal pay for equal work at the same workplace.”
“The live performance sector is characterised by thousands of SMEs who lack the staff and means to undertake all these requirements”
However, Pearle* (Performing Arts Employers Associations League Europe), which represents more than 7,000 music and performing arts organisations across Europe, says lawmakers have failed to take into account the needs of the live business, warning that if – as expected – the revision becomes law, it could have a negative knock-on effect on touring.
“Pearle* regrets that, in the discussions by co-legislators, the impact on administrative burdens, compliance costs and highly complicated calculations for very short-term posting is hardly taken into consideration,” the organisation says in a statement. “Because of the disproportionate burdens, the proposed rules may lead to cancellation of tours and less diverse offerings in concert halls and venues.
“Pearle* therefore calls upon the co-legislators to formulate proportionate and reasonable solutions for very-short term posting situations. The live performance sector is characterised by thousands of SMEs who lack the staff and means to undertake all the requirements and conditions that would apply in the same way for short-term posting as for posting of several months or more.
“The result is that those SMEs in the sector may well have to cover hundreds and even thousands of postings due to the very nature of touring in the sector.”