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Giuseppe Mazziotti

Copyright is an area of law where the need to ensure remuneration of creative labour has traditionally been addressed with the progressive establishment of distinct rights in favour of a broad range of creators. Despite its broad scope, copyright today is ultimately ineffective because creators’ revenues depend mainly on the arbitrary and secret decisions a handful of technology companies make on prices and conditions of access to their social media and streaming services. Since platforms’ commercial value lies much more in their data infrastructure than in the content they provide, creators would be likely to gain higher and fairer remuneration if they were granted rights to transparency and access to data on the exploitation of their works. EU online platform regulations and a recent US music copyright reform provide useful examples for how copyright can ensure remuneration for creators in the online environment.

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Giuseppe Mazziotti

In the context of its Digital Single Market strategy, the removal of territorial barriers in content distribution has become a priority for the European Union. Smooth access to high-quality and customized content offerings is regarded as a pre-condition for the development of well-functioning markets for creative works and the re-affirmation of the function of intellectual property in the online environment. Access to copyright works on a multi-territorial basis in Europe would entail both regulatory changes and economic incentives to be given to content creators and suppliers of online services who still find it more convenient to partition markets along national borders.

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Giuseppe Mazziotti

The recording of Keith Jarrett’s ‘Köln Concert’ album in 1975 is a prominent example of how a performing art such as music can allow skilled artists to create original and highly regarded compositions without having to rely on fixed musical materials or texts. The chapter explains why copyright systems have ended up disfavouring extemporaneous authorship, in spite of an international legal framework that is strongly protective of authors’ rights. It is mainly for historical reasons that the notion of musical ‘work’ ended up being defined on the sole grounds of notation, with the progressive extension of the copyright protection originally conceived for books and other literary works to musical writings, fixations and sound recordings. The chapter relies on examples of music works and sound recordings to show that improvisers can acquire an unconventional type of copyright – consisting of exclusive or remuneration rights granted to authors and performers of the music they play – on condition that their improvised pieces are original and, in certain jurisdictions, fixed in a tangible medium. However, as things stand, copyright law is more of an obstacle than a source of economic incentives and reward for musicians. Taking jazz music as an example of appropriation art based on transformative use of ‘standards’ embodied in collections such as the ‘Real Book’ and the ‘American Songbook’, the chapter critically evaluates – from a comparative perspective – the impact of copyright in pre-existing works on the freedom of improvisers to quote, elaborate and transform such works and to be credited and earn remuneration for their creative contributions. While considering the pros and cons of implementing copyright paradigms in the realm of music improvisation, the chapter concludes that a broader understanding of musical authorship, which also encompasses performative aspects of composition, and a higher consideration for autonomy and originality of improvised music based on pre-existing works would ensure a more adequate incentive and reward of creativity relying on improvisation techniques.

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Giuseppe Mazziotti

An analysis of today’s online environment shows that unauthorised access to digital music (i.e., “online piracy”) remains very significant and online platforms give access to copyright works either for free, on social media, or in exchange for a monthly fee, on streaming services. This situation inevitably challenges the pursuit of the main function of copyright and the effectiveness of licensing activities of music composers, performers and record producers and their ability to earn remuneration from online exploitation. To assess the role of markets and regulation, this chapter briefly examines current music distribution models and technological environments, emphasizing the dominant (and distinct) functions and business models of on-demand music services and social media (also referred to as “user-generated” or “content-sharing” platforms). This piece clarifies how, in the online platforms’ domain, music right holders and their collecting societies concretely license their rights, reaching collective or individual agreements with digital exploiters on the grounds of existing laws and contractual practices. The chapter focuses on the effect of content “platformization” on music right-holders' earnings. The analysis focuses on regulatory initiatives that sought to simplify, innovate and make the licensing of music copyright more efficient and transparent for all right-holders and licensees in Europe and in the US. The ultimate aim of the chapter is to identify unsettled issues and to explain how they might be addressed and solved.

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Giuseppe Mazziotti

Copyright law has been inherently linked to, and intertwined with, the development of EU media regulation. Consistent with its traditional objectives, copyright law provides incentives and rewards to broadcasters as well as to authors, performers and content producers who license or assign their work to television networks. Since the early 1990s, the EU has introduced measures that simplified the rights clearance activities that TV broadcasters are expected to carry on as large users of pre-existing copyright works they incorporate into their broadcasts. Taking this background into account, this chapter aims to clarify the role of EU copyright law for broadcasters in supporting cultural creation and ensuring cultural diversity in a fast-changing audiovisual sector by assessing how EU law evolved in pursuing these goals at a time when TV-like services, video-on-demand providers and social media platforms give access to the same works and compete with each other to attract the same audiences.