ECR gathers artists and streaming platforms to discuss fees

Oct 20, 2016


Anneleen Van Bossuyt, ECR and Flemish N-VA Member of the European Parliament, today organized a debate on the fees artists receive from streaming services such as YouTube or Spotify. The debate is organized in the light of the forthcoming EU reform of copyright. “Many artists complain they are not fairly compensated. Therefore, I decided to invite them to a debate with other parties involved. Particularly a possible levy on music and streaming services, provided material for discussion.”

Several prominent names from the music scene, including Ozark Henry and Miguel Wiels, came to share their views in the European Parliament. In addition, representatives of SABAM, the Belgian Entertainment Sector, Spotify, Google, the Pirate Party and Eyeworks gathered around the table to discuss the copyright reform. Van Bossuyt: “For me it’s very important to hear the voice of all parties involved. As European policy makers, we must burst out of the European bubble and listen more to those who have to face the consequences of European legislation.”

The differences in opinions were clear: Miguel Wiels: “The fees music platforms are supposed to pay to artists, record companies and authors are way too low. Moreover, it is mainly the authors, composers and producers – who are not able to partly offset their lack of income with income from for instance performances – who experience the consequences.”

Marc Van der Ham (Google): “Up until today, YouTube has paid out more than three billion dollars to the music industry, and that number grows each year as a result of licensing agreements we have concluded with the sector. We generate these revenues, despite the fact that YouTube is not a service for music only, but also provides videos about popular topics such as news, gaming, sports and entertainment.”
Van Bossuyt is pleased with the outcome of the debate: “The European Parliament will soon start to look into the European Commission’s proposal to reform legislation on copyright. It is a much needed reform because the current copyright regime is not adapted to the 21st century. I am determined I will take today’s findings with me during the upcoming negotiations.”