One of the music industry’s most senior publishing executives has warned that UK copyright should not be allowed to fall “out of kilter” with Europe.
Warner/Chappell Music senior vp international legal and business affairs Jane Dyball said the knock-on effect of any differences – she highlighted the issue of private copying exceptions without compensation - could undermine infrastructure projects.
Speaking at Monday evening’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on music, chaired by Mike Weatherley MP, Dyball argued that copyright law cannot be built piecemeal. “I think the problem we face here is if we are out of kilter with the rest of Europe. We can’t take bits of this and bits of that,” Dyball told the cross party meeting of MPs and peers in Westminster last night.
She added that if the European Commission looked at the issue of compensation for copying and saw the UK didn’t operate any levies it might question why they should be operated elsewhere throughout Europe.
Dyball told the meeting she was very supportive of the Collective Rights Management Directive, drafted by Maria Martin-Prat, head of copyright at the EU Commission Internal Market and Services. She said the Directive would ensure the standard of behaviour of collecting societies across Europe was harmonised. “It is very important for us as an industry that the Directive gets through the European Parliament in one piece,” Dyball said.
John Robertson MP, who organised the event with UK Music, said: “The All-Party Music Group had an excellent session in which we learnt more about the importance of copyright to the music industry. We hope to hear more about EU proposals and the music industry in the near future to see how we can help consumers understand the importance of paying for their music.”
Dyball said she and her colleagues in the publishing community have also been working to simplify licensing for business users and defended the UK’s success at licensing digital services – even offering to help new services launch with sustainable business models.
Weatherley emphasised there was a major role for education to help protect copyright and said there was a job to be done to push the messages on copyright “a bit more outside this room.”