Date 20/11 Edition 18/18
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WIPO Conference on Global Digital Content

The 2018 WIPO Conference on the Global Digital Content Market was held on 14 & 15 November in New Delhi, India. The two-day event discussed public access to music, film and other creative works. It also looked at what can be done to improve the livelihoods of creators. More information on the Conference is available here.

In his opening speech, WIPO Director General Francis Gurry noted the importance of copyright for digital content, saying: “While new business models have been disruptive, one principle remains intact: the centrality of copyright as a financing mechanism for the creative content that underlines human cultural activity.”

Separately, ICMP recently had discussions with WIPO on how to build on both parties Memorandum of Understanding signed in June. We will also have a series of face-to-face meetings with WIPO in December in order to set out ways in which we can work more closely together.

Democrats may delay trade deal

As we previously reported, The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) was agreed on 1 October and is subject to final ratification.

The USMCA includes an extension of the term of protection for copyright and related rights to a minimum of life +70 years in Canada (an increase on the existing term of life +50 years), whilst the principal negative angle is the expansion of liability exemptions similar to ISP Safe Harbour clauses.

However, the recent mid-term elections in the US could prompt a delay.

The Democrats will have a strong majority in the House when the new Congress meets in January, therefore the incumbent Republican-led House is seeking to push through many other legislative items before year end.

Furthermore, Democrats have signalled they will demand changes to the agreement, though many categorise this primarily as “grandstanding”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. International Trade Commission has undertaken a study into the impacts of the USMCA.

ICMP’s meetings with US government representatives today indicate that postponement rather than significant changes is currently the more likely prospect. 

New analytics tool for publishers

Streaming service Spotify has launched an analytics tool for music publishers across the world. The new tool will allow publishers to track daily streaming stats, including playlist performance. 

Royalties ‘at record high’

Global royalties for creators stood at a record €9.6 billion in 2017, up 6.2% on the previous year, according to author’s societies network CISAC’s 2018 Global Collections Report. 

Australia: Report: Restrictions on night life should be lifted

Following a government enquiry, the so-called Committee on the Music and Arts Economy in New South Wales has released its report, which finds that restrictions in place on live music venues in New South Wales should be lifted.

The authors say that removing these barriers would help avert a live music crisis that is negatively impacting the cultural economy. 

France: Macron calls for more internet regulation

At the 13th Internet Governance Forum in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron called for more internet regulation on issues like security, content regulation against hate speech, fake news and the protection of intellectual property online.

“Standing up for copyright does not mean strangling the internet. Quite the opposite. Without IP protection, one would only acknowledge the right to distribute, but not the right to create,” said the President.

Nordics: Free streaming still a popular choice

According to The Polaris Nordic Digital Music Survey carried out by three local collecting societies, 90% of Nordics’ residents stream music, but only 43% are premium subscribers, highlighting the issue of the value gap. 

YouTube is the most popular streaming service in region with 74% of the population using it to stream music, followed by Spotify, which is used by 54% of the population.  

Despite being encouraged that more people are using paid streaming subscriptions, Risto Salminen, CEO of Teosto said, “it is necessary that online services, which use music as a part of their business, pay a share of their revenue to the creators of the music.”

Romania: ISPs to block Pirate Bay access

Several Hollywood film studios have obtained a court order that will see several Romanian ISPs restricting access to the Pirate Bay torrent site and two other rogue sites. Some 18 EU countries are currently running site-blocking programmes. Despite the blocks, there are unfortunately still hundreds of ways to access the Pirate Bay, via alternative domains, mirrors, proxies, and VPNs.

Spain: Hevia new SGAE President

José Ángel Hevia has been elected the new president of Spanish collecting society SGAE.

Hevia was previously investigated for his involvement in the so-called 'La Rueda' scam, which is detrimental to the interests of the vast majority of Spanish authors and to all foreign ones.

The Ethics Commission of SGAE did not oppose Hevia’s election, which lasts for four years.

United Kingdom: Independent festivals are important for economy

Independent festivals added some £1 billion to the UK’s economy between 2014 and 2017, according to a report from the Association Of Independent Festivals.

The findings also show that social media is now the key marketing and communication tool for festivals, while crime has dropped at such gatherings over the past 10 years.

Selection of upcoming external meetings and events

WIPO Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP): Twenty-Second Session 
19-23 November, Geneva

ICMP Production Music Committee Meeting
23 November 2018, London

WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights, Thirty-Seventh Session 
26 - 30 November, Geneva

ICMP EU Training Day
28 November, Brussels

4 – 5 December, Helsinki

Thirty-Eighth Session of the IGC (Traditional Knowledge/Traditional Cultural Expression)
10 - 14 December, Geneva
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)

US Trade Representative

European Parliament

European Commission

Council of the European Union

European Union Intellectual Property Office

Spotify now available in MENA countries

Spotify launched in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on 13 November.

The streaming service is now available in 13 MENA territories including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and Egypt.

Council adopts AVMS Directive

As we previously reported, on 2 October, MEPs voted in favour of the Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive, which among other things, ensures that at least 30% of content provided by online media platforms such as Amazon and Netflix is European.

On 6 November, the Council adopted the Directive, which is the final step in the legislative process. 

Copyright Directive 

Discussions continue between the three institutions in trilogue: the European Commission, Axel Voss MEP on behalf of the European Parliament and the Austrian EU Presidency of the EU-28 Member States in Council.

The Austrian EU Presidency is seeking a final compromise text before the end of year. Whilst ambitious, negotiations continue on key provisions for publishers:
Articles 4 on Exceptions, 12 Compensation schemes; 13 Value Gap; 14-16 contractual provisions.

ICMP is liaising with each Institution to secure an optimal result for publishers. The final Directive will have indirect ramifications for the regulatory environment worldwide. 

Last call for ICMP’s EU Training Day

Don’t forget that there are still places available for ICMP’s EU Training Day on 28 November. Full details can be found here.

MBW and Rolling Stone join forces

Trade music media outlets Music Business Worldwide and Rolling Stone have struck a “wide-ranging and ongoing content sharing deal, effective immediately.” 

Jane Dyball honoured at Music Week Awards

Several female artists and executives were honoured at the Music Week Women In Music Awards in London on 9 November. Jane Dyball, who heads up ICMP member the Music Publishers Association, received an Outstanding Contribution award for her services the UK music industry.

You can read her acceptance speech here