Re:Create Recap – February 28, 2019

Re:Create Sends Letter To Congress. The Re:Create Coalition sent an open letter this week to Members of Congress urging them to support and promote balanced copyright policy. The letter laid out a set of key values to help guide the development of a balanced copyright legal framework that benefits creators, users and innovators. Underlying the principles is the Coalition’s belief that “overly-burdensome copyright laws stifle free speech, expression and the diffusion of knowledge in society.” The letter also highlighted the importance of fair use and legal safe harbors in protecting free speech. To support the ever-growing new creative economy, it is more important than ever to ensure copyright law “benefits all content creators regardless of platform.”

EU Copyright Directive Advances Dangerously Close To A Vote. Negotiations over the proposed EU Copyright Directive resulted in a final text that will force online platforms to impose filtering. “Faced with this difficult tradeoff [between balancing free speech and piracy], the authors of Article 13 have taken a rainbows-and-unicorns approach, promising stricter copyright enforcement, no wrongful takedowns of legitimate content, and minimal burdens on smaller technology platforms,” wrote Ars Technica. “But it seems unlikely that any law can achieve all of these objectives simultaneously.” The law is expected to hit smaller companies and startups particularly hard, forcing them to develop expensive filtering systems. Should the proposal become law, Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow warned of a significant change in the Internet as we know it, with “millions of sites and services collapsed down to hundreds.” The directive is expected to face a vote at the end of March.

MEPs Talk Problems With Article 13 On Twitch. Despite Article 13’s passage in the EU, MEPs Julia Reda and Tiemo Wolken used games streaming platform Twitch to talk about the negative impact the copyright directive will have on online content, reported GamesIndustry. The two MEPs played Mario Kart on Twitch while discussing how to mitigate Article 13’s impact, as the language has yet to be finalized. Article 13 will hold platforms like Twitch liable for user-generated content, likely forcing the company to impose filters and monitoring measures.

Changing Winds In The Music Industry. Billboard profiled the industry shift wherein more music artists are foregoing traditional record labels and staying more independent through music streaming on YouTube and Spotify. 16-year-old rapper NLE Choppa recently turned down a $3 million record deal to partner with an independent distribution company that allows him to keep full ownership of his recordings. “He’s already just seen, with him owning the rights and us doing distribution, he’s earning money on Spotify and Apple Music, and his song is growing on YouTube. What does he need a record company to do?” said Steve Stoute, the music executive with whom Choppa partnered.