Lickd boss says Article 13 issue ‘is not going to go away’


Europe’s new copyright directive has passed its latest legislative hurdle, winning the approval of the European Union member states, after being voted through by the European Parliament last month.

“With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age. Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms,” said EC president Jean-Claude Juncker. “When it comes to completing Europe’s digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle.”

Paul Sampson, CEO of startup Lickd – which has built a service for YouTubers to license commercial music from labels – has been giving his views on the implications of the new legislation, which will now be implemented by the EU member states.

“For a long time, both sides have been arguing the toss about what is right and who benefits and, conversely who doesn’t, when it comes to the subject of copyright. The fact that, up until this point, neither side has been able to reach a resolution has been hugely frustrating for content creators who have found themselves stuck in the middle of the music industry and these large digital platforms whilst at the same time being penalised financially,” he told Music Ally.

“Striking the right balance so that copyrights remain fairly compensated without impinging the growth of these mass-adoption digital platforms, however, is tough. Indeed, history has proven that the music industry itself has not provided solutions to problems around fighting copyright infringement but rather that third party tech companies have come up with innovative solutions to getting around the problem – solutions that both those platforms and the industry have been slow to or have failed to adopt. We have to learn from these lessons.”

Lickd, of course, is one of those third-party companies hoping to help bridge the gap between music rightsholders and the YouTuber community. Sampson said that for his company and others, the work will continue now to forge those links. Lickd was a finalist in the Midemlab startups contest in 2018, and recently raised a £1.7m funding round.

“Quite simply, this issue is not going to go away. The real opportunity now for both the industry and the platforms though is to embrace this ruling by quickly enabling a legal licencing solution which promotes both growth for the digital platforms and fair compensation for the artist community,” he said.

“It will be a learning curve for sure but one that will ultimately transform both the creative and technology industries for the better.”

Written by: Stuart Dredge