On May 25th the European Union’s Council’s permanent representatives committee (Coreper) agreed the Final text of the European Draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. This text which readers can find here will form the basis for negotiations with the European Parliament under the aegis of the new EU Council Presidency (which is currently Bulgaria but will from July 1st become Austria).
Concerned members of the talent community will recall that there are within this draft three key innovations that, in theory, should serve to empower creators. Known within talent trade groups as the Transparency Triangle these three Articles of the Draft are 14, 15 and 16. The Transparency Triangle can be explained in shorthand as providing for the talent to Track Transfers, Reassess Reward, and Determine Disputes.
Taken together they would enable author and performers:
Article 14 – to be entitled to receive “timely, adequate and sufficient information on the exploitation of their works and performances from those to whom they have licensed or transferred their rights or their successors in title…”
Article 15 – to have the right to be “entitled to additional, appropriate remuneration from the party with whom they entered into a contract for the exploitation of the rights or their successors in title, when the remuneration originally agreed turns out to be disproportionately low compared to the relevant revenues derived from the actual exploitation of the works or performances” This is often known as the Best Seller Rule, after provisions that already exist in Germany’s copyright law.
Article 16 – to have access, in every Member States, “a voluntary, alternative dispute resolution procedure” for disputes arising from the contract adjustment mechanism and the revised remuneration provision. Collective management organisations and representative organisations may bring disputes to these fora if requested by the talent.
What is encouraging is the additional provision at Article 16a that has the effect that “any contractual provision which prevents the compliance with the provisions in Articles 14 and 15 of this Directive shall be unenforceable in relation to authors and performers.” So no contractual stunts by gatekeepers that purport to contract out of these obligations would be tolerated or enforceable.
Helpful and well-informed comment on the draft’s other proposals for the press rights, the value gap and text and data mining by respected academic and IP commentator, Dr Eleonora Rosati, can be found here.
Now the interesting part begins..…. Support for these new mechanisms should be made loud and clear to your MEPs.