Creator groups across Europe and in Canada are welcoming the European Parliament’s vote in favour of the Copyright Directive, which passed last Wednesday with a strong majority of 438 in favour and 226 opposed.

Creator advocacy played a crucial role in ensuring the positive results. The #MakeInternetFair campaign issued a petition that was signed by more than 50,000 creators from across Europe, including artists, authors, and other creators. The campaign highlighted the “transfer of value” problem – where the value of cultural and creative works is completely retained by user uploaded content services, such as YouTube, instead of rewarding the creators.

The British music community’s #LoveMusic campaign was praised for its role in helping pass the vote. Supporters of the campaign, which included fans and musicians ranging from emerging artists to Sir Paul McCartney, called on European MPs to support the Copyright Directive to create a level playing field in the online market. In one high-profile event, artists and songwriters busked outside Google’s London headquarters to raise awareness of the low streaming royalties that YouTube pays creators. According to the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors, “YouTube pays creators a tiny £0.00054p per stream of music, with 1 million streams on YouTube generating as little as £540 for the artist.”

In Canada, many of the Focus On Creators signatories and supporting partners applauded the results of the vote:

The Canadian government has the opportunity to stand up for creators in the current review of the Copyright Act. Focus On Creators is a coalition of Canadian musicians, authors, songwriters, and other members of the creative class, which was created to bring focus to the artists’ perspective in light of some major federal cultural policy activities. So far, more than 3,700 Canadian creators have signed our joint letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez, which urges him to put creators at the heart of future policy.

The letter acknowledges that today, Canadians are consuming more digital content than ever before, and creators have led the shift – they have digitized their work, mastered the Internet, and worked to adapt to this new digital age. Yet while some of us have found success, too many others are being squeezed out of the marketplace. The middle-class artist is being eliminated from the Canadian economy and full-time creativity is becoming a thing of the past.

Many of the laws and regulations that should allow creators to monetize their works and make a living are outdated. As a result, creators are not being adequately remunerated for the digital monetization of their work. Without urgent attention from government, thousands of Canadian creators will not be able to tell their uniquely Canadian stories – much less earn a reasonable living doing so.

To read the letter and add your name, visit https://focusoncreators.ca/ourletter/.