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Meta-SIAE: the status of the tug-of-war

“This song is currently unavailable. This sentence probably turned out to be one of the most recurring these days, as Instagram users will be aware.

The deal between Meta, the US giant that controls the social networking services as Instagram and Facebook, and Siae, namely Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (Italian Society of Authors and Editors), fell through, and the two companies could not find a common ground to continue using the protected content on Zuckerberg’s platforms.

As a result, starting from Friday, March 17, Meta has begun to remove all music tracks from the Instagram library and, in general, all the affected contents have been muted; on Facebook, instead, the affected contents have been blocked.

As Siae stated in its press release dated March 16:

Meta’s unilateral decision to exclude the SIAE repertoire from its library leaves Italian authors and publishers baffled.

SIAE is being asked to accept a unilateral proposal from Meta regardless of any transparent and shared assessment of the actual value of the repertoire. Such a position, together with Meta’s refusal to share information relevant to a fair agreement, is clearly at odds with the principles enshrined in the Copyright Directive for which authors and publishers across Europe have strongly fought.”

the issue is the result of Meta’s decision not to transparently disclose the profits derived from the dissemination and use of SIAE-protected content on its platform and, consequently, from Meta’s proposal of a unilaterally defined  sum to maintain the license, without taking into account the actual earnings.

All this contradicts the European Copyright Directive which clearly claims the need for transparency on the profits generated by those who use protected content with the rights holder.

Such decision, therefore, has repercussions on a large part of Italian artists not only in economic terms, but also in terms of communication, considering how often is Instagram used to spread in preview some excerpts of new tracks, so as to promote their listening. To this day, with the block operated by Meta, tis is no longer possible.

Siae, for its part, is open to continue negotiations with Meta, as according to the press release:

It strikes this decision, given the ongoing negotiations, and in any case the full willingness of SIAE to sign on transparent conditions the license for the proper use of protected content.”

We have to wait, therefore, further developments and outcomes in the issue.

Mediability is always paying attention to social media and the news related to it, in order to be up-to-date and support its clients in a fair and effective way. Are you looking for an agency that can follow you all-around? Contact us now to explain your needs, and we will figure out together how best to address them.

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