Jackie Alway, chair of the Music Publishers Association (MPA), has stressed that the publishing community must have freedom to trade in a post-Brexit world.
She used her speech at the organisation’s annual Christmas lunch to spell out the need for publishers’ voices to be heard during every stage of the government’s Brexit negotiations.
‘For a business like music publishing, so brilliantly successful at licensing and exporting , the impact of Brexit has been particularly tough to evaluate,’ Alway said.
‘Let’s not forget, our sector contributes more than a quarter of the exports for the entire UK music business – some £520m per year.
She went on to say the MPA had already been ‘front and centre in seeking government assurances’ that creative businesses will be consulted, and is committed to ‘driving home the importance of our freedom of trade.
‘Europe is our biggest customer, and it is absolutely crucial that the UK’s creative businesses remain part of the Digital Single Market,’ she said.
Alway also referred to the European Commission’s (EC) recent work to address concerns around the ‘value gap’ – the transfer of value from creators to user-uploaded online platforms.
She said: ‘Ironically, these [Brexit] conversations are happening the very moment that the EC is considering steps to help close the “value gap”, to provide much-needed clarity in how rights are licensed, and streamline the copyright framework.
‘Having spoken in unison, the creative community has made itself heard in Brussels, and momentum is really building.’
The EC’s proposed copyright reforms, published in September, state that any platform hosting user-uploaded content, such as YouTube, Vevo or Daily Motion, is liable for copyright.
It also clarified that, in order to enjoy so-called safe harbour hosting protections from copyright, the service must not promote or optimise copyright works in any way.