Copyright corner: an update on PPL’s public affairs activity
PPL’s public affairs work, where we are engaging with government and regulators on matters of relevance to our membership, typically involves one of two approaches: either direct engagement or alternatively inputting to wider UK music industry lobbying via other bodies, such as UK Music and the British Copyright Council.
PPL finds that this mix of approaches works well, enabling us to both draw on skills from across various departments in the business and also make good use of the specialist resource at those other organisations. These organisations effectively amplify our messaging to ensure that PPL’s voice is heard on matters of particular relevance or importance to you, our members.
Much of the recent focus of PPL’s public affairs activity has, not surprisingly, been on matters relating to Brexit or COVID-19. Our work in recent months has included the following activities:
- We have continued to support the music industry’s lobbying efforts concerning the various international trade deals the UK has been seeking following Brexit. Our focus here has been on seeking to ensure our members’ interests are put forward in these negotiations. This is a mix of both seeking to protect our members’ current rights and standards and also seeking to maximise opportunities for improvements in the rights position in other countries.
- Through our membership of UK Music we have also supported the broader industry call for action to address the adverse impacts Brexit has had on touring, such as the challenges presented for securing work permits and transporting instruments. Separately, again through UK Music, we have also supported the call for clarity regarding the fate of the “value gap” provisions from the most recent EU Copyright Directive on ISP liability for hosting content, now that the UK is no longer formally obliged to implement the Directive.
- PPL’s activities on issues relating to COVID-19 have included working with UK Music to stress to government both the significant economic value of live music, and the role our members can play in the post-pandemic recovery, and also highlight the industry need for economic support. As we look to the reopening of live performing events in the government’s roadmap and as we emerge from lockdown and into a phased reopening of venues, we will be keen to again ensure that our public performance licensees are able to draw on the benefits of using our members’ recorded music, where it is safe to do so, and that this guidance is clear.
In addition to these topics, we have been monitoring the oral and written evidence being provided to the DCMS Committee inquiry into the economics of music streaming, with our CEO Peter Leathem having given oral evidence in January.