‘The market is broken’: Lord Grade appeals to EU for copyright reform

Lord Michael Grade has urged the European Parliament to take action in favour of creators ahead of a crucial vote on copyright in Europe tomorrow (Wednesday).

In an opinion piece hosted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the former chairman of the BBC and ITV said: ‘The whole market is broken by concessions to the Googles of this world…

‘Copyright rules have to work and have to apply to services that are in the business of providing creative works to consumers, regardless of the manner of distribution.

‘Take away the right to charge, to be paid for creating it and you take away the means to create in the future.’

He went on to say that policymakers have directly enabled giant internet corporations to erode the value of creativity.

‘Such services claim the benefit of loopholes in copyright law — called “safe harbours” — which give immunity from copyright liability to services which host user uploaded content, provided they respond to “takedown notices,”’ Lord Grade continued.

‘These “safe harbours” were put in place more than 15 years ago to nurture a fledgling internet and protect passive hosting services and were not intended to safeguard sites which build their services around facilitating access to our creations for free.

‘Whatever the reasons for these rules, we can see now in full view the effect of them, which is to allow platforms such as YouTube to pay pitifully small amounts to creators for use of their works.’

Read the full opinion piece. Learn more about the Copyright Directive, which goes to plenary vote tomorrow in Brussels.

We’ll be covering events as the unfold tomorrow.

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