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Time for change : Internet platforms must stop free riding !

Time for change : Internet platforms must stop free riding !

A delegation of European Authors came to Strasbourg on 17 April to call on the European Parliament for fair copyright rules in the digital world.

Anggun, Alain Chamfort, Jean-Philippe Baltel, C215, Milène Guermont, Joyce Jonathan, Eleanor McEvoy, Axelle Red, Béatrice Thiriet, and other creators from all over Europe came to the European Parliament today to call for its support in bringing fairness for authors in the digital world.

The delegation of creators from 8 different Member States presented a petition signed by more than 25.000 artists and authors from across the EU, which follows a previous petition, started in 2016 with Pedro Almodóvar, Jean-Michel Jarre, Daniel Buren, Agnieszka Holland, Ennio Morricone and David Guetta and others. The petition calls for an end to the “transfer of value” which certain major digital platforms are benefitting from, at the expense of creators.  Nowadays these tech giants are the main points of access to creators’ works, generating vast revenues, but offer very little or no return to these creators.

Authors are requesting the European Parliament to stop this parasitical economy and adopt a meaningful solution within the proposal for a Copyright Directive, allowing creation to be remunerated in the online market.

Apart from the unfairness they create for the entire cultural sector, a handful of tech giants are dominating the digital media landscape across the world by controlling access to information. They are also manipulating the debate on copyright via their support of NGOs and unethical campaigns, using arguments about societal values like fundamental freedoms that twist and even remove the very meaning of those values for their own financial benefits.

Creators expressed their full support to the position taken by the German Rapporteur MEP Axel Voss in this debate, whose ambition and current work focuses on finding a solution that would put an end to this problem. They urged the European Parliament to stick firm on this line and not let the circulation of information pollution, created by the deep pockets of tech giants.

As stated by C215: "Artists are local companies that employ people in Europe, create jobs, pay taxes in Europe. As artists, we are proud to be European and to make Europe shine through our art. Europe must enforce our rights against Internet platforms ".

MEP Virginie Rozière said: “Today the value of creators’ work is being siphoned off by online platforms to the detriment of the European cultural economy, affecting the digital market as a whole. The future for the new generation of creators is at stake and it is our responsibility to end this unfair situation of free riders in the market without further delay. It is time for Europe to demonstrate its ambition for a strong and sustainable ecosystem that would benefit creators and citizens alike.”.

MEP Silvia Costa said: “Europe has always been and must remain the champion of culture and creativity, which is what links us together. Today, Europe has an historical chance to level the playing field for creators and online services, allowing a well functioning of the EU digital single market place for creative content. It’s about ensuring independence and freedom for creators, while allowing large access to their works for consumers. The fact that so many creators are engaged on our side today is a clear signal that we are in the right path, and that authors right/copyright, freedom of expression and democracy go hand in hand.”

Artists and writers, make your voice heard by signing the petition: