21 Mar 2019

Creators appeal for a new, modern and fair EU Copyright Law

We – 23 creators organisations representing over 150,000 authors and performing artists from all areas of Sweden’s rich culture – join to appeal to our responsible politicians to support the historically significant new copyright legislation, which has been negotiated for several years within the EU.

Although the EU Directive now on the table is a compromise, we believe it is an important step forward for the status of art and culture in Europe. If the Directive is not passed, it will be a very long time before the next opportunity to achieve these honourable ends. We creators do not have that time.

The development of copyright is crucial to the ability for creators to continue to work and prosper in Sweden and Europe. The Directive contains provisions that create a level playing field for all parties where the small players – not least the creators of the artistic and literary content on the web – are given the opportunity to receive better terms and remunerations. The Directive provides, at the same time, increased access to art and cultural experiences via the Internet to the European public. E g. film, music, literature, visual arts.

The present version of the Directive that will soon be put to the vote in the plenary of the European Parliament is the result of a wide range of compromises and falls short of our original demands. But it is an essential step in the right direction aiming to meet the interests of all parties in a balanced way. With a sensible implementation the Directive will benefit both internet users and individual authors and performing artists. The Directive contains provisions that are missing in Swedish law, but have been strived and campaigned for by creators in Sweden for more than 15 years.

The activities of Internet users are in no way restricted by the regulations within the Directive. On the contrary, freedom of expression and access to copyright protected material can be facilitated by establishing licensing agreements with Internet platforms. Internet users are also protected from liability to copyright infringements as the Directive underlines the increased liability of Internet platforms and promotes negotiation of licensing agreements with right holder organisations.

The Directive provides opportunity for the values generated by art and culture on the Internet to be transferred back to those who created them. Such transfer of value is a prerequisite for innovative, artistic quality and diversity in future art and culture available on the net.

The various articles of the Directive constitute a whole in which each provision interact and are interdependent. The European Parliament will be scrutinizing the whole text at the end of March. We urge you politicians to notice that if you are critical to only one or two articles in the Directive, the voting against those articles will mean that you reject the entire Directive, resulting in you voting against the significant advantages for distance courses, digitization of our cultural heritage, extended collective licensing for schools and libraries. You would also vote against a strengthened contractual position for creators with the opportunity to receive fair payment for their work online.

We ask you to say YES to this modernised and fairer Copyright Law for a sustainable Internet.

Full list of of signatories and PDF version here attached.