A ‘Hijacking of the Process’: Impala, CISAC, PRS, SACEM React to the Article 13 Defeat

The EU Parliament’s decision against passing Article 13 and the broader Copyright Directive is a big blow.  But it ain’t over yet… at least according to some of the music industry’s top organizations.

While Americans were grilling hot dogs and watching fireworks, a major meltdown was happening in Strasbourg.  That’s where, early this morning, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) decided against passing the EU Copyright Directive.  That Directive included Article 13, which would have dramatically reshaped copyright law for the music industry.

Here’s our full coverage of this morning’s decision, which isn’t a complete defeat… yet.

Accordingly, several major industry organizations were sending urgent statements to DMN.  All of these groups were ardently pushing for Article 13’s passage.  In fact, Impala alone corralled nearly 150 different European organizations to support the measure, with thousands of other songwriters and artists also joining the crusade.   The night before the vote, none other than Sir Paul McCartney threw his weight behind the Directive, but to no avail.

Here are some of the statements issued this morning.

“Today’s vote is a missed opportunity to fix one of the biggest problems in today’s digital market. It leaves an unfair situation in which the value of creative works, instead of benefitting their creators, is being used to enrich global technology platforms. CISAC will continue to campaign worldwide for a fair digital market for our members.”

— CISAC Director General Gadi Oron.


The result underlines that although many parliamentarians were satisfied, others were simply not ready to decide. It is like a second reading. This will take place in September.

“Today’s decision means there will be another debate. We are confident that in September the Parliament will reach a conclusion and secure a fair and sustainable internet. Platforms facilitate a unique relationship between artists and fans, and copyright reform should help rebalance the licensing framework around this.”

— Helen Smith, Impala


SACEM pointed to a ‘hijacking of the process’ and abuse of power.

Copyright aside, the hijacking of the process raises fundamental questions about how incumbent platforms and supposedly objective operators abuse their position.  It underlines the need for greater transparency and scrutiny, especially with actors who have huge potential to influence public opinion and are not shy about using it.”

“This vote is a set-back but it is not the end. SACEM remains dedicated to ensuring that creators are recognised and remunerated for the value of their work.

“We will not be discouraged by today’s decision and will continue to mobilize the support of musicians and music lovers across the world, in the hopes of reaching a fair agreement with these platforms that will safeguard the future of the music industry.

“We are confident that the European Parliament will eventually support a framework that fully acknowledges the rights of creators in the digital landscape of the 21st century.”

— David El Sayegh, SACEM’s Secretary General


PRS for Music pointed to an ‘unprecedented level of lobbying’ and a ‘comprehensive campaign for misinformation…’

“It is perhaps unsurprising considering the unprecedented level of lobbying and the comprehensive campaign of misinformation which has accompanied this vote that MEPs want more time to consider the proposals. The vote showed that many MEPs across the various European political parties understand the importance of fixing the transfer of value and of a well-functioning market for copyright. We appreciate their support and hope that as we move forward to the Plenary debate in September, more MEPs will recognize the unique opportunity to secure the EU’s creative industries.

“From the outset our primary focus of this legislation has been concerned with whether or not the internet functions as a fair and efficient marketplace – and currently, for artists and authors, it doesn’t. They want their creative works to be heard, they embrace technology, but they want to be paid fairly. We will continue to fight for what we believe is their freedom and a fair use of their creative works.”

— Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive, PRS for Music