The value gap
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?
Music consumption is at an all-time high, yet revenues are not being returned to rightsholders fairly, if at all. The value gap is a major threat to the music ecosystem as it depends on investment and fair remuneration to survive and grow. There is an urgent need for a meaningful legislative solution to remove this current distortion which is detrimental to the music industry.
How can we fix it?
The European Union has acknowledged that the value gap is a problem that needs a legislative fix. The new proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market includes language under Article 13, which seeks to solve the problem by determining the liability of internet intermediaries. In short, there needs to be a clear understanding that the exclusive right of making copyright-protected works available is applicable to all operators that communicate and reproduce creative content for the public.
Moreover, internet intermediaries that use and disseminate works but exclude rightsholders from a fair share of the revenues generated from advertising, need to stop.
Through the provisions in Article 13, legislators have a golden opportunity to safeguard the future of creators by ensuring that the value generated by their online works is shared evenly and fairly across the value chain.
It’s time to fix the value gap.