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New Study: Unlawful US Copyright Exemption Severely Harms European Music Creators

London, 08/11/2016 – Today At The International Council Of Creators Of Music (CIAM) Which Was Held In London, Keith Donald, Chairman, Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO), Presented The Findings Of A New Study On The US Copyright Act Exemption 110(5)(B). The Study Quantifies That $44 Million Per Year Is Lost To European Rights Holders, And Should Serve As A Reminder That The Exemption Is In Breach Of The TRIPS Agreements And Was Ruled Unlawful By The WTO In 2000.

The United States Is One Of Only Two More Economically Developed Countries That Have An Exemption In Place For Playing Music In Bars, Restaurants And Retail Establishments By Means Of Radio Or TV. The Study, Conducted By The Independent Consulting Agency PMP Conseil, Includes A Wide Survey Of US Bars, Restaurants And Retail Establishments To Gauge Their Use Of Music, And The Effect Of The Exemption On Revenues For Music Creators In Europe And The US. With Yearly Losses Estimated At Well Over $150 Million For U.S. And EU Rights Holders, It Is Unquestionable That This Exemption Has An Unacceptable Negative Impact On Music Creators.

Véronique Desbrosses, General Manager Of GESAC Said: “The European Union And The United States Are Currently Holding Talks, Although Fragile, Over Trade Agreements Where The Harm Caused By This Exemption Needs To Be Raised And Addressed. We Expect This Study To Have A Significant Effect On The Weight Of The Issue.”

Songwriter And IMRO Chairman, Keith Donald Added: “We Thank GESAC For Undertaking This Study And Now Call On The European Commission To Take The Necessary Actions To Put An End To This Longlasting Harmful Situation.”

A Delegation Of Music Creators Is Set To Meet The European Commission To Present The Findings Of This New Study, And To Urge The European Union To Pressure The United States Into Aligning Its Copyright Act With The International Treaties It Has Signed.

About GESAC

The European Grouping Of Societies Of Authors And Composers (GESAC) Comprises 32 Of The Largest Authors’ Societies In The European Union, Iceland, Norway And Switzerland. As Such, They Defend And Promote The Rights Of About 1 Million Creators And Rights Holders In The Areas Of Music, Audiovisual Works, Visual Arts, And Literary And Dramatic Works.

About IMRO

IMRO Is A National Organisation That Administers The Performing Right In Copyright Music In Ireland On Behalf Of Its 11,000 Members (Songwriters, Composers And Music Publishers) And On Behalf Of Members Of The International Overseas Societies That Are Affiliated To It. Music Users Such As Broadcasters, Venues And Businesses Must Pay For Their Use Of Copyright Music By Way Of A Blanket Licence Fee. IMRO´S Function Is To Collect And Distribute Royalties Arising From The Public Performance Of Copyright Works, Ie. Music Used Anywhere Outside Of The Domestic Environment, Through Its Licensing Agreements With Music Users In Line With The Copyright & Related Rights Act, 2000. As Of January 2016, IMRO Also Acts As Agent For Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI), Collecting Public Performance Royalties On Behalf Of Record Producers And Performers. IMRO Is A Not-For-Profit Organisation.

IMRO Is Keenly Aware Of The Inadequacies In Copyright Legislation, Not Only In Ireland But In Other Countries Too. It Worked Closely With The Irish Government On The Drafting Of The Copyright And Related Rights Act 2000. It Also Works With The European Commission On Intellectual Property Issues And Was Instrumental In Getting The European Commission To Lodge Its Successful Complaint Against The US Authorities Regarding Inadequate Copyright Protection.

IMRO Is Also Prominently Involved In The Sponsorship And Promotion Of Music In Ireland. Every Year It Sponsors A Large Number Of Song Contests, Music Festivals, Seminars, Workshops, Research Projects And Showcase Performances. IMRO Is Now Synonymous With Helping To Showcase Emerging Talent In Ireland.

Download The Study HERE




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