Wednesday 13 May 2015

MusicTank Asks “Who Pays For The Right To Copy?”

The University of Westminster's Music Tank has put together an expert copyright panel to debate a new model for artist remuneration for private copying. The new seminar,  Private Copy Exemption: Rightsholders And Remuneration will consider how a levy system might effectively compensate rightsholders for private copying in the UK, and takes its lead from a paper written by MA Music Business Management post-graduate, Samuel Rudy.

The mechanism, transparency and effectiveness by which rightsholders are compensated for private copying in the majority of European countries remains up for debate.  The majority of EU member states operate variations of traditional blank media levies, with others (Finland and Spain) abandoning those in favour of a state-funded compensation via collecting societies.   The UK belatedly adopted EU Directive on private copy exception last October, which among other rights, grants consumers the legal right to copy CDs and DVDs on to personal computers, mobile devices and internet-based cloud locker services, for their own personal use.  However, UK adoption of this regulation was done without providing ‘fair compensation’ to rights holders - itself a core remit of the EU Directive.  

UK Government’s view was that any such economic harm wreaked by private copying was insignificant and ‘built in’ to the pricing of content.  A large body of rightsholders firmly disagree with that position, with UK Music, BASCA and The Musicians Union appealing for rightsholder compensation in the High Court. However structured, current compensation systems across the EU are largely considered a blunt, opaque and inefficient tool with which to compensate rightsholders.

Discussing the implications, practicalities and grounded realities of private copying compensation is an esteemed panel, chaired by Keith Harris (PPL Director, Performer Affairs and MusicTank Chair), comprising: Jane Dyball, CEO, MCPS, IMPEL and PMLL - one of the UK’s most senior figures in music publishing and an expert in collective and digital rights; Prof Martin Kretschmer – leading copyright academic, CREATe director, advisor to the IPO and an outspoken and profoundly ‘copyleft’ advocate; Balázs Bodó - Senior Research fellow, University of Amsterdam; an expert on alternative compensation system, copyright and economist; John Smith - General Secretary, Musician’s Union, and leading protagonist in the recent high court appeal on private copy exception; Chris Cooke – CMU business editor and industry commentator; and Samuel Rudy, Miloco Group. 

Title:               Private Copy Exemption: Rightsholders And Remuneration
Date/ Time:    Thu 25th June 2015 | 18.30 – 21.00 hrs

Venue:           Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

This free discussion paper - Private Copying of Music - nuances the debate, focusing not on whether by default, rightsholders should be compensated from lawful private copying, but addresses the issue of charging those who profit absolutely from facilitating the copying of music – digital storage and device manufacturers.

Cost: Earlybird rates currently apply from £20 (students £15)

Information & booking: 1709 Blog users can USE THIS PROMOTIONAL CODE: PCERR0615 (subject to availability) and save £5 on the full price - earlybird rates currently apply until 01.06.15)

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