Academics warn of the dangers and costs of extending copyright term on sound recordings to 70 or 95 years. The European Parliament votes on 23rd March.
“Such an extension, from 50 to 95 years (or perhaps 70 years), will harm Europe’s culture and economy.
The European Parliament is being asked to remove sound recordings from the public domain for another generation, ostensibly in order to benefit performers. In reality, copyright extension will serve the shareholders of four major multinational companies that control the valuable recordings of the 1960s (Universal, Warner, Sony and EMI).
It is not surprising that many performers’ organisations and collecting societies support the Proposed Directive. They do not have to carry the costs – which are likely to exceed EURO 1 billion to the general public …. Many performers also do not appear to understand that the proposal would lead to a redistribution of income from living to dead artists.
If Europe wishes to keep its ability to innovate, it must not lock in the current industry structure at a moment of great technological change, it must not inhibit digital creators and archives in the exploration of music – music which has been paid for once already, during the existing term!
The public will not be fooled. If copyright law, cynically, departs from its purpose, piracy becomes an easy option.”
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Studies of copyright term and an open letter to David Lammy, Minister for Intellectual Property (and co- presenter of the UK Digital Rights Agency proposal.)
“ it is hard to discern a compelling ‘moral’ case for a proposal whose prime effect is to benefit major label shareholders and a few, already highly successful, artists while imposing significantly greater costs on new creators, the general listening public and the custodians of our cultural heritage.”
Bournemouth University Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management