Case study

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This case study on processes of copyright reform uses the Fair Internet for Performers campaign to examine discourses generated about performers in industry and government and the discourses' trajectories during the lobbying process. Some of the questions traversing the project are:

  • What is the political process leading to a particular outcome?

  • Can the effectiveness of a campaign be assessed?

  • Does relative market bargaining power predetermine success?

The Fair Internet for Performers campaign was launched in May 2015. Behind this campaign are four international organisations representing 500,000 musicians, actors and dancers: AEPO-Artis (the European association of performers’ collective management organisations), EuroFIA (the European branch of the International Federation of Actors), FIM (the International Federation of Musicians) and IAO (the International Artist Organisation of Music, which represents featured artists).

The campaign seeks to secure fair remuneration for performers when their recorded performance is played on streaming and other on-demand services offered by digital service providers like Spotify and YouTube. This would be achieved through the European copyright legislation with an addition of an equitable remuneration right to the already existing exclusive making available right. The cost of this right would be born by digital service providers, instead of record companies as is the case with the communication to the public right, which remunerates performers for broadcasting and public performance of their recorded performances. The main argument for the introduction of this legal instrument is the lack of performers’ bargaining power to exploit their exclusive rights: with an equitable remuneration right managed by local CMOs, performers would collectively secure a fair remuneration without having to negotiate with a powerful contracting party (AEPO-Artis et al. 2015).

The study roughly coincides with the launch of the Proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (COM(2016) 593) on 14th September 2016, offering a concrete juncture for the campaign.