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|Title:||We want Artists to be Fully and Fairly Paid for their Work’: Discourses on Fairness in the Neoliberal European Copyright Reform|
|Citation:||Aguilar, A. (2019) We want Artists to be Fully and Fairly Paid for their Work’: Discourses on Fairness in the Neoliberal European Copyright Reform. JIPITEC 9 (2)|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from a case study of the ‘Fair Internet for Performers Campaign’, consisting of 15 interviews with representatives of nine stakeholder groups (including CMOs, record companies and authors), two political parties and one European civil servant. These interviews were supplemented through fieldwork in the record industry and at government events, as well as an analysis of primary literature.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“Elaborating on the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker’s agenda, EC Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip wrote on his blog on 18th November 2015, “we want artists to be fully and fairly paid for their work”—the phrase that serves as the title to this article and that has reappeared in different guises throughout the process of EU copyright reform. By examining a case study on the Fair Internet for Performers Campaign—a campaign advanced in the context of the ongoing European copyright reform—I shed light on the powerful discourses on fairness that have dominated and shaped the reform process. Using discourse analysis, I found the concept of fairness to be mostly dependent on the stakeholders’ relative bargaining power and framed by hegemonic neo-liberal thought. Drawing on interviews, fieldwork, media, and the documentation produced by the European Union’s government throughout the process, the case study also illustrates the contested nature of copyright reform today.”
Main Results of the Study
In relation to fair remuneration, the concept of ‘fair’ is fragmented amongst stakeholders, and is related to their respective bargaining power. The study finds that debates regarding fair remuneration in the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive were dominated by neoliberal thought, characterised by a desire for strong private property rights, free markets, free trade and maximising reach and frequency of market transactions (if necessary by state interference). The study finds that the prevalence of such discourses are largely unsurprising, as ideal neoliberal market conditions often coincide when a majority of artists have very low bargaining power (e.g. in winner takes all markets such as the music industry).
The study finds three concepts of fairness when discussing fair remuneration:
• Fairness is tied to an unwaivable, equitable fair remuneration right. This position is most frequently forwarded by those with the least bargaining power (performers, less successful artists, performer CMOs and consumers).
• Fairness requires preservation of the status quo. This position is more frequently forwarded by those with very high bargaining power, including record companies, highly successful artists and digital service providers.
• Fairness requires artists’ individual freedom to decide whether to monetise their creations or not (an ideological stance). This position is most frequently forwarded by parties critical of the reform, including the Pirate Party.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the study does not make any explicit policy recommendations, the author notes that the current language of articles 14-16 (regarding fair remuneration) is weak and short-sighted, and unlikely to address the immediate needs of the majority of authors.