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We are writing on behalf of a broad coalition of organizations, representing the creative sector in Europe. We represent musical, audio-visual, literary, visual authors; performers; book, musical, scientific, technical and medical publishers; recorded music, film and TV producers; football leagues; distributors and photo agencies.

We are very concerned about the direction that discussions on the Digital Services Act (DSA) are taking in both the European Parliament and in the Council.

Rather than meeting the DSA’s original objective of establishing an accountability framework for online platforms and creating a safer and more trustworthy online environment, some of the changes currently proposed by both institutions would have the very opposite effect. If the proposals, as they stand now, are approved the DSA would be a missed opportunity and a step backwards. It would weaken the current liability regime and have a detrimental impact on the existing standards and good practices for addressing illegal content and activities, including online infringements of copyright and related rights.

Among other points of concern to our sector, there are three specific issues that we would like to draw your attention to:
1) The goal of increasing the accountability of search engines should be achieved through the introduction of effective due diligence obligations and not by making them 1 Before the start of the Covid crisis, the EU's 28 (before Brexit) cultural and creative industries employed more than twice as many people as the telecommunications and automotive industries combined (7.6m jobs) and represented 4.4% of EU GDP in terms of turnover (€643bn). 99% of the sector's businesses are SMEs. 26 October 2021 2 beneficiaries of a broad and unjustified immunity (“safe harbour”). This would fall below some existing national measures and obligations on search engines to effectively remove illegal content. This would also go against the EU’s general political commitment not to modify or broaden the liability limitations under the e-Commerce Directive. We are also very concerned about the proposals to establish that intermediary services can continue to benefit from the “safe harbour” privileges even when they do not comply with their due diligence obligations. The contrary is true; diligent behaviour is and should continue to be a factor to assess the eligibility for “safe harbours”. Offering the “safe harbour” privileges to non-diligent operators would remove all real and impactful incentives for compliance with their obligations under the DSA.

2) The introduction of specific time limits (even as upper limits) for the take down of illegal content would substantially weaken the current obligation to take “expeditious” action, creating an unintentional disincentive for hosting services to act as diligent operators. The DSA should ensure that “expeditious removal” means ‘as fast as possible’ for all content and even ‘immediately’ during live broadcast and for content that has particular timesensitivity. Any indication of specific time limits would be short-sighted and make the DSA obsolete very quickly in light of the continuous and rapid technological developments.

3) The lack of ambition in setting truly effective due diligence obligations fails to reflect the broad scope of illegal activity that takes place online. In particular, extending the scope of application of the obligations to ensure the traceability of business users (“Know Your Business Customer”) is absolutely necessary to tackle the serious problem of illegal operators acting on a commercial scale and hiding behind false identities. There should also be more effective tools introduced when it comes to addressing rogue players, repeat infringers and systematic illegal activities. A meaningful mechanism for the enforcement of these obligations should be established to ensure that EU consumers have as little exposure as possible to illegal content, services and products.

The DSA is a great opportunity for the EU to create a secure, well-functioning online environment that enables our creative sector to grow in the EU Digital Single Market. It is crucial to make the most of this opportunity to future-proof the DSA and ensure high standards of diligence and accountability for online operators.

We urge you to take our concerns into consideration and to ensure that the DSA achieves its original objectives and does not hinder the growth of our sector.

We stand ready to support you in this endeavour and we remain available to discuss this with you further.

Yours sincerely,

AEPO-ARTIS is a non-profit making organisation that represents 36 European performers’ collective management organisations from 26 different countries. The number of performers, from the audio and audiovisual sector, represented by our 36 member organisations can be estimated at 650,000. AEPO-ARTIS’s mission is to protect, strengthen and develop performers’ rights and to advance their collective management. Thereby, AEPO-ARTIS aspires to ensure all performers benefit from the exploitation of all their performances and thus contribute to creativity and cultural diversity.

CEPIC, the Center of the Picture Industry, federates 600 picture agencies and photo libraries in 20 countries across Europe, both within and outside the European Union. CEPIC's membership includes large and smaller stock photo libraries, major photo news agencies, art galleries and museums, video companies.

ECSA, the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance, represents 57 member organisations and over 30,000 professional composers and songwriters in 27 European countries. ECSA’s core mission is to defend and promote the rights and interests of composers and songwriters with the aim of improving their social and economic conditions, as well as enhancing their artistic freedom.

EIBF is an umbrella organisation representing national booksellers’ associations in the EU and beyond. Through its members, it speaks on behalf of more than 25,000 booksellers of all kinds, including brick and mortar retailers, chains and independent shops.

EUROCINEMA represents the interests of film and television producers to the European Union bodies concerning all the issues directly or indirectly affecting film production.

FEP, the Federation of European Publishers, represents 29 national books and learned journals publishers’ associations of the European Union and the European Economic Area. FERA (Federation of European Screen Directors) wasfounded in 1980 and represents film and TV directors at European level, with 48 directors’ associations as members from 35 countries. It represents more than 20,000 European screen directors, representing their cultural, creative and economic interests.

FIA, the International Federation of Actors represents performers' trade unions, guilds and professional associations in about 60 countries. In a connected world of content and entertainment, it stands for fair social, economic and moral rights for audiovisual performers working in all recorded media and live theatre.

FIAPF is the International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations. Its members are 34 film and TV producer organizations from 27 countries, including 15 in the EU/EEA. Their activities include the development and production of films and audiovisual content which are distributed offline and online via all forms of authorised and legal online distribution channels.

FIM, the International Federation of Musicians, founded in 1948, is the only organisation representing musicians’ unions globally, with members in 65 countries covering all regions of the world. FIM is recognised as an NGO by diverse international authorities such as WIPO, the ILO, UNESCO, the European Commission, the European Parliament or the Council of Europe.

FSE, the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe, is a network of national and regional associations, guilds and unions of writers for the screen in Europe, created in June 2001. It comprises 27 members from 22 countries, representing more than 7,500 screenwriters in Europe.

GESAC, the European Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composers, comprises 32 authors’ societies from across the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland. As such, it represents over one million creators and rights holders in the areas of musical, audio-visual, visual, and literary and dramatic works.

IAO, the International Artist Organisation, is the umbrella association for 10 National coalitions advocating for the rights and interests of the Featured Artists in the music industry.

ICMP is the world trade association for music publishers and companies. It represents more than 90% of the world’s published music. Our membership comprises 61 national associations, including each of the 27 EU Member States.

IFPI, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, is the organisation that promotes the interests of the international recording industry worldwide. IFPI’s mission is to promote the value of recorded music, safeguard the rights of record producers and expand the commercial uses of recorded music in all markets where its members operate.

IFTA is the global trade association for independent film and television production, finance, distribution, and sales companies. The organization represents the independent sector before governments and international bodies and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 135 member companies from 23 countries.

IMPALA is the European association of independent music companies, representing over 5,000 music SMEs. Its mission is to grow the independent music sector sustainably, return more value to artists, promote diversity and entrepreneurship, improve political access, inspire change and increase access to finance.

IMPF is the global network for independent music publishers. It represents the interests of indie music publishers internationally, shares experiences and best practices, exchanges information on the copyright and legal framework in different territories and jurisdictions, and helps stimulate a more favourable environment for artistic, cultural and commercial diversity for songwriters, composers and publishers everywhere.

IVF, the International Video Federation. Its members are associations representing businesses active in all segments of the film and audiovisual sector in Europe. Their activities include the development, production, and distribution of films and audiovisual content as well as their publication on digital physical carriers and via all forms of authorised and legal online distribution channels (TVOD, SVOD, AVOD).

MPA, the Motion Picture Association, is the leading advocate of the film, television, and streaming industry around the world. SROC, the Sports Rights Owners Coalition, is a forum of over 50 international and national sports bodies and competition organisers, with a particular focus on rights issues.

STM is the leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers. The membership is composed of over 140 organisations who are based globally and include academic and professional publishers, learned societies, university presses, start-ups and established players.

01 Dec 2021 | Press release

YouTube Music announces the UK’s top music videos of 2021

TION WAYNE X RUSS MILLIONS’ ALL-STAR ‘BODY 2’ IS #1 SEE THE FULL TOP 10 HERE     YouTube Music today reveals the UK’s Top Music Videos of 2021. Again underlining YouTube Music’s huge influence on pop culture, the list compiles the ten official music videos that received the...more

01 Dec 2021 | Press release

Bigger than ever, The British Music Embassy returns to SXSW

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01 Dec 2021 | Press release

Spotify’s 2021 Wrapped Results & Experience is Here

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01 Dec 2021 | Press release

The Sound of the Year Awards 2021

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01 Dec 2021 | Press release

Spotify for Artists - Artist Wrapped 2021

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01 Dec 2021 | Press release

International Music Summit 2022

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Chrysalis Records appoints Alison Wenham OBE as first Chief Operating Officer

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Lineup announced for return of The National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

BRITs Rising Star supported by BBC Radio 1

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30 Nov 2021 |

European Talent Exchange Programme: Still boosting international careers

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Leila Oliveira named as General Manager of Warner Music Brazil

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Applications now open for the FAC Step Up Fund supported by Amazon Music

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Baby Shark unveils its first-ever NFT collection

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Caldecott Music Group introduced as new company brand of BandLab Technologies, NME Networks, and Vista Musical Instruments

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Proper Sign Distribution Deal with Independent Venue Week

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

Tuned Global to power West African WAW MUZIK app

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30 Nov 2021 | Press release

BMG acquires Mötley Crüe recordings catalog

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29 Nov 2021 | Press release

The BRITs are Coming - nominations show

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29 Nov 2021 | Press release

Phebe Hunnicutt appointed SVP, International, Warner Recorded Music

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29 Nov 2021 | Press release

AWAL announces duo of senior UK marketing promotions

Charlotte Birch and Nathan Liddle-Hulme Appointed Joint Heads of UK Marketing AWAL, the global artist services company, has announced two senior promotions within its UK marketing department. Following the recent elevation of former VP of Marketing Aaron Bogucki to Global Head of...more

29 Nov 2021 | Press release

Wizkid to livestream his sold-out 'Made in Lagos Tour' exclusively on YouTube

LIVE AND DIRECT FROM THE O2, WEDNESDAY 1ST DECEMBER @ 21.00 GMT  LINK TO STREAM   Wizkid, the Grammy Award-winning global sensation, will be livestreaming his sold out 'Made In Lagos Tour' from The O2, exclusively globally on YouTube on Wednesday 1st December.  To...more

29 Nov 2021 | Press release

NTIA Responds to PM Press Statement on Omicron Variant

Following the announcement today of additional measures being required in indoor settings in response to cases of the new variant being reported within the UK.   Michael Kill CEO NTIA says“The reported detection of the new variant in the UK is hugely...more

29 Nov 2021 | Press release

Phil Kaso upped to SVP, Rock Promotion for Atlantic Records/Elektra Music Group

 Lea Pisacane Retires After 34 Years with Atlantic   Phil Kaso has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Rock Promotion for Atlantic Records/Elektra Music Group. In his new post, Kaso – who was most recently Vice President of Rock Promotion for...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Featured Artists Coalition announces the FAC Step Up Fund supported by Amazon Music

  Amazon Music, Amazon's digital music streaming service, and the Featured Artists Coalition (FAC), the UK artist trade body, are delighted to announce the FAC Step Up Fund supported by Amazon Music.  The FAC Step Up Fund will provide financial support and a broader...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Swedish streaming service for concert video, Staccs, makes a sweep of strategic hires and launches Staccs Originals

Swedish tech startup, Staccs - a premium streaming service for concert video and music documentaries - has revealed key hires to its executive structure and announced the launch of Staccs Originals - a production suite creating exclusive and original content...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Absolute Label Services sign deal with Reef

Reef will release new LP, Shoot Me Your Ace, on April 15. Title track out now   Absolute Label Services has signed a services deal with Reef for the British rock band's next album. Under the new deal, Absolute will provide a range...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Hannah Joseph and Horace Trubridge elected as Performer Directors at PPL Annual Performer Meeting 2021

  Today at the PPL Annual Performer Meeting (APM), it was announced that PPL-registered performers have elected Decibelle Management founder Hannah Joseph as a Performer Director and have also re-elected Musicians’ Union General Secretary Horace Trubridge as a Performer Director. Both will sit...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Stefania Passamonte elected to BPI Council and Alice Dyson re-elected

  Independent and major record labels association the BPI today announces Stefania Passamonte as a newly elected member on BPI Council representing independent labels and the re-election of Alice Dyson. Stefania (Director Master Chord Records, Founder London Performing Academy of Music, and musician) said: "I am delighted and honoured to...more

25 Nov 2021 | Press release

Distiller Music Group announces new hires and promotions across team

  London based independent music company Distiller Music Group has announced a number of staff changes within its UK team. Distiller Music Group has interests across a number of industry sectors including Distiller Records, Distiller Publishing and Distiller Live and produces the...more

24 Nov 2021 | Press release

Music Leaders’ Drive To Tackle Racism And Boost Inclusion Wins Backing From Football Legend And Diversity Champion Rio Ferdinand

  UK Music and UK Music’s Diversity Taskforce is calling for greater transparency in the battle to boost diversity and inclusion across the music business and creative industries.  The call came as the collective voice for the music industry and its Diversity...more

01 Dec 2021

  • What do we mean by fairness in music? (see Opinion)

30 Nov 2021

  • Spotify's plan to become the "Instagram and TikTok of audio" (see Digital)

  • BRITs Rising Star: shortlist announced (see News)

29 Nov 2021

  • Kill the bill that would stifle UK music investment, says Tony Wadsworth (see Opinion)

26 Nov 2021

  • StubHub accused of failing to disclose when customers buy tickets from professional touts (see News)

  • "Hipgnosis chief sounds off-key" (see Analysis)

25 Nov 2021

  • Support, rejection and summary of the proposed Copyright Bill (see News)

  • Is the music industry’s future on the blockchain? (see Comment)

24 Nov 2021

  • State of play: The UK majors (see Features)

  • Copyright Bill: AIM asks members to 'take action to prevent proposed changes to the law' (see News)

  • Reaction to the non-gendered BRIT Awards (see News, Features)

23 Nov 2021

  • BRIT Awards 2022 to remove gendered categories (see News, Opinion, Showbiz)

22 Nov 2021

  • Spotify takes shuffle as default off album pages (see Digital)

  • Four Tet in dispute with Domino (see News)

19 Nov 2021

  • The NFT Bay links 'all NFTs' on Ethereum and Solana blockchains (see Bigger Picture)

  • Lyrics now available to all Spotify users (see Digital)

  • Artist & Manager Awards - winners announced (see News)

18 Nov 2021

  • Catalogues: David Bowie to Warner?; Sting to Universal?; Lindsay Buckingham to Downtown (see Deals)

  • Global value of music copyright up 2.7% in 2020 (see Analysis)

  • Warner Music launches WMX services division for artists, labels and brands (see Business)