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Thread: UK rejects music copyright extension

  1. #1
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    LONDON (Reuters) - The British government rejected a plea to extend copyright laws for sound recordings to beyond 50 years on Tuesday, prompting the music industry to accuse it of not supporting musicians and artists.

    The music industry had won support from opposition politicians and a parliamentary committee in its bid for a copyright extension that would allow veterans such as Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney to carry on receiving royalties in later life.

    The government would have had to push the European Commission for a change in the law but said such a move did not seem appropriate as it would not benefit the majority of performers and could lead to increased costs.

    "The UK is a world-beating source of great music, so it is frustrating that on the issue of copyright term the government has shown scant respect for British artists and the UK recording industry," John Kennedy, head of the IFPI body which represents the international recording industry, said in a statement.

    "Some of the greatest works of British music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the companies that invested in them."

    The issue of copyright has become a hot topic in Britain as early hits from ageing acts approach the cut-off point, just as downloading music sparks a revival for back catalogues.

    Under current rules, performers can earn royalties for 50 years from the end of the year when a sound recording was made. In comparison, novelists, playwrights and composers enjoy copyright protection for their life and 70 years afterwards.

    Cliff Richard, whose first hit "Move It!" from 1958 is approaching the cut-off point, has led the campaign to highlight the issue, with support from the likes of McCartney, Robbie Williams and The Who's Roger Daltrey.

    The parliamentary committee for culture, media and sport said in May it would support an extension, given the importance of the creative industries in Britain.

    The copyright protection for performers in the United States is 95 years from release and in Australia it is 70 years. The industry had called on the British government to lobby the European Commission to extend the term to at least 70 years.

    Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, which represents the British recorded music industry, said the government had failed its test to show support for British music.

    "We will continue to put forward the strong case for fair copyright in Europe," he said. "It is profoundly disappointing that we are forced to do so without the backing of the British government."

    by Kate Holton

    Source: Reuters
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    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
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    "Some of the greatest works of British music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the companies that invested in them."
    the artists are not losing the songs in any way they can still perform them and the companies invested knowing they would only get 50 years which is too long anyway.

    Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the BPI, which represents the British recorded music industry, said the government had failed its test to show support for British music.
    but they did pass the test in supporting the british public.
    "We will continue to put forward the strong case for fair copyright in Europe," he said. "It is profoundly disappointing that we are forced to do so without the backing of the British government."
    I completely agree copyright at the minute is unfair and needs to be changed. I just disagree
    on the length. In a few peoples opinion it should be shorter

    copyrights were originally granted to encourage artists to create art and be able to make a living while contributing to culture. How many artists these days are refusing to make music because the copyright on the music wont be long enough. I cant think of one, so why is this even being discussed.

  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    TheFoX's Avatar www.arsebook.com
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    It appears that the industry is obviously trying to do away with 'Public Domain', or public ownership. I agree that artists should be rewarded for their contribution, but do not agree to a perpetual reward.

    70 years is way too long. If you think about it, and artist who writes a song when he is 20, will receive royalties for that song up to the age on 90. Most of us get paid for a job, and that is it. We don't carry on earning for the same work, but must continue to do new work to earn.

    I think that 25 years is more than enough. Why should someone earn for something that is not tangible way past it's sell by date.

    It's just a case of greed again. Sounds like Jive Bunny over again.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
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    Not quite, but I agree with your sentiments.

    The writer of the musical piece is protected for the rest of his life plus 70 years, just like the novelist, composer etc. - way too long IMO but creators rights is a different issue.

    The performer currently gets 50 years "protection" - for what? Having a good voice for a few minutes of recording (and with modern processing techniques not necessarily even that)?

    If it was a purely commercial transaction, with no fixed period, I think it is very doubtful that they would get, nor expect, anything even approaching 50 years. Chances are though that short term income would be higher, which would also be beneficial to less popular (but probably harder working) artists.

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