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Australian writers called to help in protecting copyright in Europe

27 July, 2016

The peak organisation representing the interests of writers and composers around the world is calling on writers in Australia to join a campaign to strengthen copyright protection for works online.The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) has joined forces with GESAC, the largest authors' societies in the European Union representing about 1 million creators and rights holders in the areas of music, audiovisual works, visual arts, and literary and dramatic works.They say the failure of the European Commission’s review of copyright laws to address the concept of “transfer of value” could dramatically affect the livelihoods of creators of all kinds.More than 1,000 creators have already signed a letter sent to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, urging him to address the problem of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Soundcloud not paying for the value of the works they provide access to.“This issue affects all creators, whether they are established or just starting out, whether they are composers, architects or film directors, but also whether they are European or not,” says the GESAC call to arms.“We’re only getting started. At the end of next year, the European Parliament and the Member States will get involved and we’ll need everyone on board then as well. But right now, we’re counting on you to get creators’ voices heard in Brussels, and you can do that by asking your members to sign the petition: www.makeinternetfair.eu.”The Australian Writers’ Guild supports the “transfer of value” battle, coming as it does amidst a Productivity Commission review of Australia’s copyrights laws that threatens writers here and the nation’s creative industries. Members are encouraged to sign the petition above to show solidarity with our European counterparts.A letter, coordinated by CISAC and signed by its President Jean-Michel Jarre and Director General Gadi Oron, was also sent to President Juncker, Vice-President Ansip and Commissioner Oettinger for the same purpose.
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