New proposals outlined by the European Commission (EC) could see video streaming websites such as YouTube forced to pay more money to record labels and musicians.
The news comes as part of a potential shake-up of European Union (EU) copyright laws, which follows ongoing criticisms from the music industry. Record labels and artists have contended that YouTube has created a “value gap”, failing to fairly compensate them for the large quantities of music streamed over its platform.
A recent UK study entitled Measuring Music 2016 found that revenues from music streaming services grew 49 per cent to hit £251million last year.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has previously warned that the changing shape of music consumption calls for change in the way artists are paid. Bradley stated that, “For the potential of [online] streaming to be fully realised, it must operate fairly and value the music that creates business and traffic for the service.”
Introducing a draft directive on Wednesday, EC president Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I want journalists, publishers and authors to be paid fairly for their work, whether it is made in studios or living rooms, whether it is disseminated offline or online, whether it is published via a copying machine or commercially hyperlinked on the web.”
The EC’s directive, which also aims to protect magazines, newspapers and written content “aims to reinforce the position of right holders to negotiate and be remunerated for the online exploitation of their content on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube or Dailymotion.” Such sites would have to screen their music and video content more proactively than before, instead of enforcing copyrights post upload.