IMPALA's Brexit Recommendations Look to Protect Future of Music Biz

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With less than six months to go until Brexit becomes a reality, European indie label trade group IMPALA has outlined a number of recommendations to safeguard the future of the music industry in the U.K. and Europe.

Included among its recommendations is that the British government commits to fully adopting reforms to copyright law recently approved by the European Parliament, requiring user generated content (UGC) platforms like YouTube to establish automatic content recognition systems blocking any copyright infringing works.

IMPALA is also calling for border arrangements that will enable the free movement of artists, crews and equipment in the U.K. and European Union, avoiding costly and restrictive administrative processes. "The ideal scenario is visa-free movement between the UK and EU27 countries," states IMPALA. "Alternatively, a visa-waiver could be implemented for a certain category of people and/or countries. In all cases, it is crucial to negotiate to maintain the current UK-Ireland travel area where there is no visa restriction."

The Brussels-based organization additionally wants clarification and commitment from Brexit negotiators around U.K. artists’ and music companies eligibility for funding programmes during the transition period. Other recommendations include deeper consultation and engagement with the creative industries on future European cultural programmes and for the British government to set up its own fund to support British cultural organisations' at a European level.

The proposals follow a meeting between IMPALA and dozens of other European cultural organizations in Brussels last week to address concerns about Brexit. Discussions focused on the mobility of artists and the distribution of audiovisual content, access to EU funding streams, competition rules and future trade agreements with IMPALA represented by AIM CEO Paul Pacifico and PIAS co-founder and co-president Michel Lambot.

"For IMPALA and its members, this comes at a crucial time," comments Pacifico in a statement. "We have always said that the European music union will continue whatever the political outcome and these recommendations make sure that cultural union can continue to function smoothly."

IMPALA’s executive chair Helen Smith added, "We call on the Brexit negotiators to recognise the importance of these recommendations, not just in the light of ongoing shared economic interests, but also with a vision of facilitating future co-operation and neighbourhood."

Further Brexit discussions are planned when IMPALA’s members meet for its annual general meeting on October 5 in Tampere, Finland.