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04 April 2019

NMA: Publisher’s Right Will Strengthen Creative Industries

A Publisher’s Right enabling content creators to better protect the value of their work online will strengthen the creative industries by increasing investment in music, writing, journalism, animation and the arts, David Dinsmore has said.

In a piece for PR Week, News Media Association chairman Mr Dinsmore said that there had been some “misplaced outcry” around the European Parliament's vote to adopt the EU Copyright Directive.

Mr Dinsmore said: “Far from stifling creativity, the sensible and pragmatic measures contained within the Directive, including the ‘Publisher’s Right’, seek to protect content creators from having their work freely used on the internet without the requisite permissions.

“By enabling content creators - such as news media publishers - to better protect the value of their work online, much needed revenue will flow towards them.

“Britain needs a vibrant creative sector that is incentivised to invest in original, high-quality content. The news industry is a vital part of that. Copyright means more investment in music, writing, journalism, animation and the arts.

Mr Dinsmore said that the measures in the Copyright Directive had been misrepresented by those who will need to adapt their businesses to ensure that copyright is now protected. The Wild West of online activity is being tamed and platforms that take no responsibility for what they publish will now have to put measures in place, he added.

Mr Dinsmore added: “The so-called ‘link tax’ is nothing of the sort. The Publisher's Right explicitly does not prevent acts of hyperlinking, and will not affect internet freedom. Individuals will not be prevented from linking to social media, either via apps or via email. Indeed, it is in publishers’ interests for readers to recommend their content and share it with family and friends.

“Aggregators would be free to continue to serve links to their users, along with individual words or very short extracts. And, if they want more, they are free to do a licencing deal with the content creators; hardly a draconian change that’s going to break the internet.”

Mr Dinsmore called for the creative sector to come together to urge the UK Government to adopt the proposals as soon as possible. He said: “By enabling content creators to better protect their work from being exploited online, the Publisher’s Right will increase and enrich our creative output, not diminish it.

“Brexit may rumble on, creating continued uncertainty, but that should not get in the way of ensuring that the UK’s copyright laws are made fit for the digital age. It will be good news for everyone who values the UK’s place as a world leader in the creative industries.”

In a letter to the House of Commons EU Scrutiny Committee, the IP Minister Chris Skidmore said: “I believe that negotiations on this Article have been successful from a UK perspective, and that the right will improve the position of press publishers in the value chain, giving them a better online environment that will allow them to more easily monetise and enforce the rights in their content, without undermining basic internet functionality”.