Europe’s new copyright directive – Article 13 and all that – isn’t the only way legislators are getting involved in some of the big debates around the music industry. Earlier this month, the European Parliament issued a draft report on proposals for regulations “promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services” in the region. This is the ‘access to platforms’ issue that has been exercising music-streaming services including Spotify and Deezer, who fear the power held over their fortunes by companies like Apple, Amazon and Google’s control of the devices, app stores and other online services through which the pureplays reach their users. The draft report makes some changes to an existing text proposed by the European Commission: for example, inserting language to specify that voice assistants would fall under the new regulations.
Now lobbying body Digital Music Europe, which includes Spotify, Deezer, SoundCloud and 7digital among its members, has backed the draft report, saying that it “rightly recognises the European Commission’s proposals are not ambitious enough and that transparency alone will not prevent unfair business practices by platforms… DME calls on the European Parliament to strengthen the European Commission’s proposals and introduce targeted rules that prevent unfair discrimination by platforms, especially where they compete with independent services in downstream markets, such as music streaming services”.
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