28/08/18: UK Music and our members have launched #LoveMusic - a campaign fighting for the best possible future for everyone who works in the music industry and who relies on music to make a living.
There will be a crucial vote at the European Parliament on 12 September on the Copyright Directive, which aims to boost the tiny amounts that some tech firms pay out of their enormous profits for music played online.
Ahead of that vote, we have launched the #LoveMusic campaign to spread a positive message about our fantastic music industry and to counter some of the negative and untrue tales about what the Copyright Directive will mean for the internet.
There are some people and tech firms out there trying every trick in the book to block a change that would mean a fairer deal for pretty much everyone in the UK music business.
We urgently need your help to stop that happening and to ensure musicians, creators and everyone in our world-beating music industry are not denied a fair reward for their work.
What’s our campaign about?
For us, the creative industry is like the Amazon rainforest – a vibrant ecosystem that supports many creators. Music creators are the butterflies in this rainforest – beautiful but delicate.
Some tech giants are now laying waste to the creative ecosystem like bulldozers through the rainforest, threatening its vibrancy and its diversity.
Like the rainforest, our ecosystem needs protection or it will suffer permanent damage.
The butterfly is a symbol of a fragile ecosystem, and that’s why we have adopted it as our logo for the campaign.
Distortion in the online music market
Many tech companies are fully licensed and have systems for managing content on the internet. There are however legal loopholes that undermine the rights of creators and those that invest in them. We need to close the loopholes and make the internet work for everyone.
According to figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic industry (IFPI), audio streaming platforms attracted 272 million users in total in 2017, while 1.3 billion music-using users turned to online video services like YouTube.
Despite having one-fifth of users, audio streaming platforms pay substantially more for the use of music. These services paid around $5.6bn (£4.3bn, or £15 per user) which contrasts significantly with the $856m (£650m, or 50p per user) returned to the industry by the likes of YouTube.
Around 85% of YouTube users visit the site for music each month. The service is the number one source for music consumption and accounts for 84% of all music streaming on online video services. The legislation proposed in the European Parliament would create a level playing field in the online market.
For YouTube, a track may need to be streamed 51.1 million times to earn the UK average annual salary (£27,600).
How 12 September could help to protect music
The Copyright Directive, being voted on by MEPs on 12 September, includes Article 13, which aims to update legislation and redress the balance between the content creators and the platforms making billion dollar profits from their work while passing little of the profit on to them.
It also contains other measures, such as Articles 14 to 16, designed to enhance creators rights online.
If the current situation continues, fewer creatives will pursue making records or songwriting as a career, as it isn’t paying a living wage. Our music industry will only suffer as a result.
The misinformation from the ‘Save The Internet’ campaign
Those on the other side of this debate are claiming that Article 13 will result in censorship of the internet. This simply isn’t true.
The technology in question does not block content it doesn’t recognise. Only content where rightsholders can prove their ownership and have chosen not to license it will be unavailable.
Article 13 only applies to a very specific type of service, so scare-mongering stories about it being the end as we know it for blogs, Wikipedia and online market places are false. These platforms are explicitly excluded, as are parodies, caricatures and pastiche.
Article 13 is designed to benefit all creators alike. The professional creator will be paid for the use of their work, while the UGC creator benefits from obtaining all the rights they need through the platform.