Copyright Rules

“According to the IFPI 2016 Report, the global music market achieved a key milestone in 2015 when digital became the primary revenue stream for recorded music, overtaking sales of physical formats for the first time. In 2016 total industry revenues grew 3.2 per cent to US$ 15.0 billion, leading to the industry’s first significant year-on-year growth in nearly two decades. However, representatives of artists and of labels claim, that this explosion in consumption is not returning a fair remuneration to them because of a market distortion resulting in a “value gap“. (The reiterated “value gap“ is in their view about the gross mismatch between music being enjoyed by consumers and the revenues being returned to the music community, as streaming services and in particular by the rapidly-growing use of user upload platforms such as YouTube, are profiting more of the revenues than the right-holders.)

Behind the „value gap“ phenomena lies a long contested policy matter, namely the protection of delivery platforms (intermediaries) by so-called “safe harbour” rules that were established in both US and European legislation in the early days of the internet, limiting their liabilities for copyright infringements. Right-holders claim, that the “safe harbour” regime  should no longer be used to exempt user upload services that distribute music online from the normal conditions of music licensing. Since the publishing of the visions to modernise EU copyright rules of the European Commission many are looking forward how European policy-makers intend to face these issues and reflect them in the new copyright rules to be adopted in 2016.”