The year 2020 was marked by the Covid-19 epidemic, which forced the world to remain confined to their homes for months. And so restaurants, discos and entertainment halls such as cinemas, theaters and concerts have remained closed to prevent the spread of the disease. Since the artists could no longer appear on the scene, they were forced to cancel or postpone their performances. Some sectors suffered a sharp decline in turnover.
The consequence of this action was to reveal the power of digital technology, particularly in the entertainment world. But the question is if there can be a notion of copyright on social networks.
Covid-19, a revolution in the digital scene
In these difficult times, to continue sharing a few moments together despite this general closure, some artists have chosen to increase their presence on social networks to stay close to their fans. Several improvised live concerts have been observed in our devices, in order to entertain us from home.
This event had the effect of increasing communication through social networks and consequently also our enthusiasm for the digital world.
One of the world’s largest live broadcast events on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube was performed by David Guetta in Miami on Saturday, April 18, 2020. This concert raised $ 128 million for the benefit of the medical staff who contributed on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19.
Live streaming has become an essential promotional marketing tool for artists. Social distancing has increased this phenomenon tenfold.
Streaming live e copyright
But what about the copyrights of these artists who generously offered us these moments of connected conviviality?
Indeed, there are multiple reward channels for talent, including their copyright. The more their works of genius are broadcast on TV, radio and the web via streaming channels, the more people are paid who participated in the making of these videos and / or audio contributions.
Youtube is the most used content platform on the web. On average, the monetization of posted videos ranges from $ 0.18 to $ 0.44 per 1,000 views. This means that if we position ourselves on the high end of estimates, 1,000,000 views equals a remuneration of € 440. These figures remain extremely low.
But let’s focus on copyright again. The implementation of social distancing and quarantine measures due to the coronavirus pandemic is transforming the digital habits of inhabitants around the world, effects which are unlikely to have retroactive power.
But when it comes to live shows broadcast on social media, we’re all firm on the fact that the web is the biggest scene that can exist. In fact, thanks to streaming platforms such as Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music we have the possibility to listen to the music of our favorite artists without limits. There is a remuneration for these channels. But you can still see many live shows on the web that don’t always allow the artist a remuneration despite the number of views they trigger on the web. There is still no clear legislation on this phenomenon.
The notion of copyright on social networks (which does not exist)
It is therefore well established that the Web has become one of the first channels used for listening to music and watching shows. Of course, they offer these artists the opportunity to showcase their work. But this new channel is not used in the same way by TV, radio, theater, cinema. The notion of copyright exists in all of these channels, but not as far as social media platforms are concerned.
Shouldn’t there be regulation of the remuneration of copyright through this new form of art consumption and that in a sustainable way? The digital show has really entered our lives to stay. Wouldn’t it be normal for channels that use all the works that create real interest to Internet users to grant a remuneration to those who create them?
The question is whether the digital show deserves remuneration of these royalties.
What makes applications like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tic Toc and others so successful? We like to satisfy our curiosity and observe how the other lives, but not only. Artists regardless of their field participate in the traffic of social networks. New images, videos, texts and melodies flood the web every day.
Artists are taking their place in this new digital scene without collecting royalties despite the excitement they arouse. Each of us has discovered many artists only via the web, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, and through social networks. This means that billions of works distributed on social networks listened to by billions of Internet users do not allow remuneration for the copyright of their creators.
These web giants are for the most part companies whose turnover is only growing. For example, Facebook achieved $ 17.74 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2020 (+ 18% over the previous year). Youtube earned him $ 4.79 billion in sales. It must be acknowledged that part of this success is due to the enrichment of content brought about by the works of our favorite talents.
But the problem is that starting from the generalization of the use of the web, the artists of this world, those who enrich the web with their works, are not remunerated for their work and above all for the interest they generate through these platforms.
By now the web has become the engine for the total use of every type of search, from clothing stores in Turin, to the best pizzeria in Naples, up to the best escorts in Rome, passing through the luxury shops of Via Montenapoleone. Have not social networks become channels for listening, watching, reading, discovering the works that we can observe on television, on the radio, via CDs, vinyls, on streaming platforms?
The time is ripe to start asking a few more questions in our country and beyond. (press note)