midemblog: Why are you attending midem 2013?
Michel Barnier: midem attracts music professionals from all over the world. As the European Commissioner in charge of copyright, I want to meet and listen to these professionals. I am interested in their insights on trends, challenges and opportunities for the music sector. The internet creates considerable opportunities for artists and the music industry. But it is also poses a challenge. It is my responsibility to make sure that the European copyright framework contributes to keeping the music sector vibrant, in both its cultural diversity and economic potential.
How can Europe contribute to a vibrant music sector?
> Music in all its diversity is one of the most powerful and inspiring ways to create bridges between cultures and bonds between people. Music allows people to share emotions and experiences beyond linguistic and cultural barriers.
Europe is not only at the forefront of creating music, but also at the forefront of coming up with the new ways in which we listen to music: many of the leading online and digital services, such as Spotify, Deezer, Last.FM, and 7digital, are European. In total there are already around 260 legal digital services offering over 30 million tracks to European consumers.
The basic copyright rules governing music creation and distribution are set out at a European level. We need to make sure that the European copyright framework factors in the rapid evolutions that are taking place, and remains fit for purpose. As part of our European intellectual property strategy ,we have been taking initiatives to that effect. Are there the right ones? Is there more to do? How? This is what I will discuss with the music professionals in Cannes.
What will your midem conference be about?
> “Music for everyone” will be an opportunity for all those interested in the future of the music industry to exchange views on how it should look, the challenges we need to address, and the opportunities we need to seize. Together with distinguished representatives from major players in the music industry, I want to talk about the copyright aspects of the distribution of music from a European, i.e. transnational, perspective. In particular, how can we make innovative online music services available on a pan-European basis to bring the widest possible repertoire to the widest audience, in compliance with the copyright framework and the rights of the right holders?
It will be an occasion for me to present and discuss the recent initiatives of the European Commission in the field, such as the proposal for new European rules on collective management and the multi-territorial licensing, or the initiative “Licenses for Europe“.
The “Music for Everyone” session begins at 11.00 January 27 (Audi K), with a keynote from Commissioner Barnier, followed at 11.30 by a panel with leading European music players, inclduing Deezer’s Axel Dauchez and U2 manager Paul McGuinness. Full session details here.