As we move towards the pivotal vote on European copyright reform, the lobbying is intensifying. German collecting society GEMA published the results of a survey that it commissioned on European citizens’ attitudes towards copyright in eight countries. It claims that 87% of respondents “declared themselves for a legislation for the protection of copyright” while 61% are “worried that internet platforms endanger the democracy in Europe”.
The study was commissioned from independent pollster Harris Interactive, which interviewed 6,600 people last month. At the same time, these studies (whether pro or anti copyright reform) are all about what questions were asked: it’s no surprise that all-but-13% of people support laws to protect copyright – the debate this month is about whether *this* (i.e. Article 13) approach to protecting copyright is the correct one.
We’d suggest that many people across Europe are guided more by their emotions (often stoked by one of the two sides) than a deep understanding of the actual proposed legislation. Still, GEMA’s survey is a useful reminder that regular citizens DO care about music, and art, and the ability of its creators to make a living – those principles may seem obvious, but the danger is they are forgotten amid the mud-slinging over ‘big tech’ and ‘the copyright lobby’.