ICMP and the European Union

Some internet intermediaries, such as search engines and social networks, are not remunerating rightsholders for disseminating copyright-protected content online. This value gap is the mismatch between the value that these intermediaries extract from music, and the value that is returned to rightsholders.

How is it affecting the music industry?

ICMP believes it is important to allow competing licensing models to develop around common high standards of representation, accountability, transparency, good governance and efficiency.

Territoriality in music refers to the licensing of musical works to distributors or broadcasters based on linguistic and/or cultural markets. Music publishers are already licensing multi-territorially and as rightsholders, they don't impose territorial restriction but respond to the demands of the service providers.

ICMP considers the current term of protection (70 p.m.a. for authors and 70 for performers and sound recordings) is still very much appropriate in the digital environment. Indeed, as demonstrated in the Commission's impact study (EC Impact Assessment on the Legal and Economic Situation of Performers and Record Producers in the European Union (SEC(2008) 2287).

ICMP believes that music disks and online music should be eligible to benefit from a reduced rate of Value Added Tax under the EU VAT Directive, in line with the reduced rate currently available for other cultural products.

ICMP strongly supports the principle of fair compensation to rightsholders for harm caused by mass private copying of protected works, as recognised by the EU. This compensation is a significant source of income for composers, lyricists, publishers and other rightsholders, particularly where sustainable business models of online content are still developing.

The rationale behind the EU exceptions and limitations regime is to allow people to use copyrighted works for a specific purpose as long as it complies with the internationally recognised principle of the Three Step Test.

The current copyright acquis is equipped to deal with UGC. UGC is not a new, unaddressed market. UGCs as either original or derivative works, or both, is being accommodated by existing mechanisms in place to deal with derivative works (i.e. licensing solutions). Music publishers already have licensing solutions for these uses.