Composer Michael Price is among a group of British talent appealing to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to support creators on the eve of a crucial vote on copyright law.
The Sherlock composer, who won an Emmy Award along with David Arnold for his work on the series, told M magazine: ‘As a composer, this vote matters to me because if our rights are not protected online, I simply can’t see a future for the music industry.’
Price was referring to a vote in European Parliament tomorrow (Thursday) on the proposed Copyright Directive – the first meaningful new legislation in this area for 17 years.
If passed, it will create a new legal framework to ensure that large online services pay creators and respect the content they use.
However, following a preliminary vote in favour of the changes by the EU Parliament’s legal affairs committee last week, pro-Google lobbyists have unleashed a scathing attack, spreading misinformation about what the directive actually stands for.
Some have erroneously claimed it could spell the end of creativity online or the demise of the internet itself.
Price added: ‘The debate has been hijacked to suggest that professional creators are supporting something that would stop users from using creative works. That is simply not true, we just want to be able to have some say in how these multi-national, billion-dollar platforms are using our works and get paid for their use!’
Tom Gray, of post-Britpop band Gomez, said: ‘Did we decide that creativity has no value? That using other people’s property and work without permission or reward is okay? All we want is to be able to license our work for a value that reflects the time, money and effort that went into producing it. MEPs have an opportunity to support positive reform. We need this change now.’
Songwriters including Jimbo Barry (The Script), Fiona Bevan (Ed Sheeran, One Direction) and Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran) have spoken out too, in the hope of swaying MEPs.
They, along with rising grime artist Novelist, have all lent their voice to PRS for Music’s Creators Rights Fight campaign on this issue.
Barry said: ‘It’s not a matter of wanting people to stop using music at all, the whole goal of writing songs is that people listen to them, love them, use them.
‘But this is original content. Where do people think it comes from? It wouldn’t exist if we didn’t put in the time effort and money to make it. It isn’t unfair to ask to be paid for use of a copyrighted piece of material.’
He added: ‘There’s a lot of advertising online, there’s a lot of money being made. The exploitation is continuing without reinvestment into those that create the music; it is being used but not valued.’
Novelist added: ‘It’s not free to make music, so there has to be a balance of some form of funding that goes back to the artist for them to even make music.’
For more on PRS for Music’s Creators Rights Fight campaign, see https://prsformusic.com/c/creators-rights-fight
To read a leader for M from UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher on how big tech is pedalling propaganda ahead of the vote on 5 July, see here.
To see past the fake news and learn the facts about the proposed changes to copyright, see here.