make the internet fair.... petition

  • Don't know if its appropriate to share this here, but to me it's really important that our rights as artists are better protected. So Hereby: We, creators from all artistic fields and from all over Europe, call on you, EU decision makers, to put a stop to the funneling of value away from the creators to a number of online platforms.

    You have rightly acknowledged that user uploaded content (UUC) platforms are now the main point of access to our works online, but unacceptably do not, or only barely remunerate us for their exploitation. The viability of cultural and creative industries, which create significant growth and jobs for the EU economy, is threatened by this transfer of value.

    We want an environment that fosters growth for new and legitimate businesses, including UUC platforms, while providing legal certainty for consumers, and ensuring that this is paired with appropriate remuneration for creators. UUC platforms have built their businesses on people’s desire to access and share our works, and should not put the burden of liability on consumers or creators.

    The current situation is a race to the bottom that drives down the respect for and value of creative works. We depend on copyright/authors’ right as this is our pay and the only leverage we have to negotiate fair remuneration for our works.

    The forthcoming legislation on copyright is your opportunity to stop these freeriding platforms.

    Please sign the petition on:

  • Pro SVS OG

    I'm not sure I understand what this is aiming at. Getting paid for sharing your work on social media? Having social media platforms carry the weight of legal action in case of copyright infringement?

    Social media is one of the best and most effective advertisement platforms that was ever available to artists...and it's for free! The times when you had to pay thousands of dollars for a page on an illustration annual are not so far back....we should be very careful what we wish for....

  • @smceccarelli I agree. Its not a negative claim for open use of art. its a very good medium. However there's no payment for use of artwork. That what this is about. When you buy a book the publisher has to pay a certain fee for copyrights. For example educational material is used in classrooms, and for the copies the schools make of materials, they also pay a fee. That fee can be claimed by the artist. The same with music. Every time a song is played on the radio, or used in a commercial, the artist gets paid. Now for the use on internet, this can be platforms, open source etc. there is no copyright. thats just not fair. So I believe strongly that we earn copyright payment, because we share our artwork not only to be seen, but also to earn an honest living.

  • Pro SVS OG

    @leontine Photos are under copyright too. Which means that Facebook, for example, would have to pay something to anybody who shares any picture of any kind on their platform. Or would they pay only depending on the traffic your image drives? Or whether they can plaster advertisement just below your image? Or wether the image is of good quality? Would Facebook have to pay you a fee everytime they show your image in a feed? I can quickly see what that would lead to....the death of social media as we know it.
    The ability to post your art freely to a platform that is visited by millions of people daily is a win-win in my eyes. The platform profits from the traffic in advertisement revenues and the artists profits from having his/her art seen by potential clients.
    Just imagining Google would have to pay a fee to the creator every time an image shows up in a search. And what about texts? Those are under copyright too. Would Tumblr pay creators for writing their blogs? Which creators would they pay and which would they not? Would you have to establish a submission process to have your content published, like with a traditional publisher?
    I can’t pretend to foresee all the implications, but my feeling is that this idea is not compatible with the internet as a way to connect people - users and creators alike.

    I can imagine a solution like YouTube - who used to pay a small amount to creators if you let them place advertisement on your videos. I say „used to“ because YouTube (aka Google) has just introduced new AdSense rules that make it factually impossible to earn anything from your channel unless you have a very large traffic and you keep it constantly. So, even if I could see a model working where you’re paid something if you drive a huge traffic, it would be very hard to make any substantial money that way....let alone a living.

    Of course I’m all in favor of defending the artists`rights....and maybe there is value in nudging the big internet corporations to recognize that. I wonder if one could start a petition for a fairer compensation of creators in general. Fees and royalties could use some tweaking....

  • Its not quite like that, its much more complicated, and of course I don't have all the answers. The main thing for me is unpaid use of copyright-protected work. Its not about personal pictures, drawings or paintings. Its not about advertising via social media. Its mainly about big companies who earn billions without having to pay anything for use (reselling) of copyright-protected works.

    For example: use of illustration on a educational platform. Work for a publisher who publishes books and also educational material for use on the internet. Schools pay to get acces, use the material. But they only have to pay (collective) royalties for the use in books, not for use on screens. So if a publisher decides to only publish on the internet there is no royalty payed to the autor, creator.

    Wouldn't it be great if these companies pay royalties, even if it was collective? You can claim your royalty for copyright-protected artwork.

    For inning royalties I am helped by Pictoright is the author’s rights organisation for visual creators in the Netherlands: illustrators, artists, graphic designers, photographers and other professional image creators. If it wasn't for them, creators in The Netherlands would miss out thousands of euro's on income per year. They collect copyright fees. I think they do a great job fighting for the protection of copyrighted works, and I believe they have jurist who help us by making good agreements with publishers, colleges, broadcasting, companies. They pay collective royalties. This does not mean that work will be published less often; Collective Rights Management Organisations have agreements with a lot of publishers. These publishers are already accustomed to paying a fee for using work.

    (Of course I don't know how inning collective rights is arranged in other EU countries, perhaps you can find out if you can claim the copyrights of published works in your country. For example in the UK I think it is Now just as the music industry relies on royalties, in the future we as illustrators will rely more and more on these royalties as well (less books, more published on the internet).

    Hope it helps! , but perhaps its a good topic for a podcast by Jake, Lee and Will?

  • Pro SVS OG

    I think it would be an excellent topic for a podcast - especially in the type of complex setups you describe. I don’t have experience with that type of constellation, as the contracts I had so far either comprised transfer of all rights for a certain period of time (all educational projects I had so far) or had very specific royalties set up for all types of uses (including digital). When I hire illustrators for editorial, the contracts specify only a certain type of use (for example „digital“) and if you want to use the art in a different way you have to re-negotiate. I’m not aware of other setups and it would certainly be interesting to learn about that.

    I`ve been turning down all enquiries that regard digital publication only so far (like story apps, educational portals, etc...) just because it happened that the conditions they offered where not interesting for me.

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