In a few months, the European political landscape will be renewed and one of the last major initiatives related to copyright and the responsibility of major platforms such as YouTube will conclude before the elections in May 2019. These large technology companies, which are currently The main point of access to creative works, refuse to comply with the regulations on intellectual property. The current situation is as follows: they earn a huge amount of money by providing access to creative works, through advertising and other means. And these revenues are not shared equitably, if they are shared, with the creators of these works.
This raises questions. How can a future be guaranteed to creators When more than 80% of the use made of their works is not remunerated equally? Is it acceptable for Internet giants to be opportunists when they do not comply with copyright legislation, unlike other digital content services such as Spotify and Deezer? This excessive transfer of value from creators to technological giants harms not only the cultural and creative sector, but also the economy and European digital companies.
The debates on the so-called "article 13" sThey have warmed up due to aggressive campaigns carried out on social networks with erroneous information. In order to oppose this normative provision, Google uses its financial power and its YouTube platform, one of the largest media in the world, to undertake one of the largest international pressure campaigns with scant regard to the truth. They try to manipulate children and young users, threatening that they will be forced to close millions of channels and accounts of youtubers But this disaster scenario presented by YouTube is, of course, completely false.
Article 13 does not deal with the closure of channels or the content filtering. It has to do with the remuneration of creators. European citizens will be able to continue to use their favorite music as a soundtrack for their personal videos, share memes and GIFs as they are currently doing. What will really change is that the creators will have the necessary legal base to be able to negotiate a more equitable remuneration with the platforms and that these business conglomerates should be more transparent. I invite you to visit the website www.article13.org and subscribe to the INSIGHT13 newsletter to obtain clear, reliable and relevant information about Article 13 and debates about it.
All these attempts at manipulation in social networks are unacceptable, since they affect not only intellectual property but also the functioning of society as a whole. Can we accept the fact that a few powerful platforms control and decide what goes on the Internet and dictate their own rules using false facts and data, with the sole objective of achieving greater benefits and controlling the digital world? Is it not necessary for Europe to set agreed standards and frameworks for these technological giants? A recent survey showed that two thirds of European citizens believe that the GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) is more powerful than the European Union! It is decisive to act to protect the essential values of our society.
Article 13 is the result of more than three years of examination in depth, debates and independent advice from academics and economists. The objective is not only to provide a fairer remuneration to the creators and thus guarantee an independent and sustainable creation; It is also to ensure greater efficiency for the online market, for the benefit of consumers. It is time for Europe to implement global policies that allow the growth and diffusion of its culture and economy, while resisting the pressure of some technological giants that dominate the digital market.
Véronique Desbrosses is the general director of GESAC (Association of rights societies of European authors), which brings together 32 of the largest societies of authors of the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It represents more than 1 million creators and holders of rights in the areas of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, literary works and dramatic works.