[news=http://www.tickettree.com/media/oasis.jpg]Britain's super-rich rock veterans are about to get even richer. The government wants to extend copyright laws to ensure pop songs are protected for almost twice as long as the current 50 years.
It sees the move as a way of generating more money for the record industry, which would use it to discover new talent.
It will mean Beatles classics such as Love Me Do and Please Please Me, released in 1963, need not automatically lose their copyright in 2013. The Rolling Stones could also benefit with songs such as Satisfaction having their copyright extended beyond 2015.
James Purnell, the new minister for creative industries, believes the change will allow record companies to generate extra revenue to look for new talent and nurture it. Purnell, who will outline his plans in a speech next week, said: “The music industry is a risky business and finding talent and artists is expensive. There is a view that long-term earners are needed so that the record companies can plough money back into unearthing new talent.
“Bands like Coldplay will make enough money for their company to help them discover around 50 or 100 bands.”
In America, copyright protection lasts 90 years — and British ministers are considering a similar period. Tessa Jowell, the culture secretary, is also planning to set up a Music Council to be run along the lines of the present Film Council. The music industry believes this would help with cross- industry initiatives such as stamping out piracy.
The moves are part of the Labour government’s first steps back into policy-making in an area that has an uncomfortable history. When Tony Blair first entered Downing Street, he was keen to embrace the supposed spirit of “Cool Britannia”, but this later became synonymous with a celebrity-obsessed elite.
It saw figures such as Oasis star Noel Gallagher and Meg Mathews, his wife at the time, comedian Eddie Izzard and actor Ralph Fiennes feted by the Blairs.
Purnell believes that the idea behind Cool Britannia was right, but poorly executed.
“The label Cool Britannia gave the impression that the policy was about supporting an elite in London. But the last five years have shown that creative industries are central to regeneration,” he said “You only have to look at Manchester, Gateshead or Liverpool to see how these sectors generate jobs and civic pride. We do not want to be in a situation in 30 or 40 years’ time when [these industries] are talked about in the past tense like shipbuilding.”
Source: Times Online[/news]