French composer and electronic music pioneer Jean Michel Jarre used his Midem keynote speech to call for a closer relationship between the music industry and tech giants such as Google to create a fairer share for artists and content creators.
Speaking at day three (Feb. 3) of the Cannes-held music conference, Jarre – who is also president of the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies (CISAC) – told delegates that the music industry needs “to stop thinking that the big actors of the internet are our enemies.”
“These people who created Google, Facebook and all these great tools — they are music lovers, they are filmmakers. They love artists. They are closer to music and film and arts than a lot of politicians are.”
“We need to sit around the table [with the tech companies] making billions from our content to say: ‘We are not hating you.’ We need to sit together and find a decent business model,” he stated.
The importance of copyright and intellectual property was vital in protecting the future of the creative industries, Jarre went on to say. Repeating his call for closer a partnership between the tech and creative industries, Jarre told delegates: “We should sit sooner rather than later with Google, with Facebook… to say ‘Don’t forget — in a smart phone, the smart part is us.’”
He continued: “If you think about MySpace ten years ago. It was the grail of the internet. They don’t exist anymore. We should tell Google and Facebook, ‘Be careful, guys. Because in ten years from now you could become the next MySpace. We need you, but you need us.’ Because artists and creation, whatever happens, we were existing before electricity, and we will exist after internet.”
“It’s not a matter of trying to find what kind of tax or things we we should get from YouTube or Spotify, or all of these new tools. It’s [about] having a global talk to the big actors of the internet… We need to sit together and define a business model and to get some market share. We are like partners of a big huge company and it is unbelievable that a company is not paying its shareholders. We are shareholders of Google and YouTube and so we need to be part of their business.”
Jarre went on to critique France’s Hadopi anti-piracy three strikes legislation. “The intention was right. [But] the result was wrong because they [went after] the wrong people,” he said. “The consumers are not the bad guys. Nobody is the bad guy. We should focus on the people making money from our work. Not on the people consuming.”
Jarre closed his keynote speech by calling on the music industry to rediscover its “1960s rebel spirit” and regain its voice of opposition. “We should go straight to the people in charge of YouTube, making billions on our back. This has to change.”