Copyright is an enabler ensuring that artists, writers and businesses are able to make a living from creativity through the application of copyright.
It gives to rightholders the right to determine whether and how copying, distributing, broadcasting and other uses take place. Copyright protects everyone involved in the music industry, and it ensures that all the parties who have had a part in the creation of a work are rewarded.
With the emergence of the digital market place and the numerous delivery channels now available for music, the demand for content is increasing. The online environment is full of opportunities and digital networks need original and diversified content. Content development and delivery requires a legal environment conducive to creativity and investment in creativity.
Copyright plays the role of a critical determinant to the development of a diverse range of music. Authors, composers, performers, actors, publishers and producers all contribute to the creative process and their unique works need protection. Unauthorised up- and downloading is strongly affecting the music sector, causing a big fall in revenues which is not compensated by the digital market.
Impala believes that a package approach is required, with a set of key measures to protect and enforce copyright and neighbouring rights in the digital world. This is essential to remunerate creators and the financing of creation. Without giving new services space to develop, creators are unable to earn a living. Access to the market and non-discrimination for independent music companies should be guaranteed.
Copyright is seen by some as an obstacle. The following question should be considered: Is copyright really an obstacle or is the problem excessive market power of big players? In reality this is not a copyright question. It is a market power and education issue, which has been allowed to be highjacked by certain sectors which have a vested interest against copyright.
We ask everyone to remember one thing when they decide upon their position with regard to copyright – 80% of all music released in Europe today is produced by independent music companies, most of whom are micro, small or medium sized operators.
Specific education and awareness raising initiatives are necessary to improve understanding and appreciation of creativity and cultural entrepreneurship, as well as to foster identity and pride in Europe's culture and diversity. This should explain the role of copyright as an enabler - helping creators earn a living and disseminate their works.