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Topic: Legal Dept:UK Says No to Over 50 Year Music Copyright

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Legal Dept:UK Says No to Over 50 Year Music Copyright

    According to BoingBoing:
    Reuters is reporting that the British government has rejected a proposal to extend music recording copyrights from 50 to 95 years. Virtually all music is out of print in at 50 years, and extending copyright for another 45 years would only ensure that the vast majority of British recordings were long vanished and forgotten before they returned to the public domain.

    "Economists calculated the net present value of the 95th year of copyright at less than the net present worth of a lottery ticket -- so the government would do more for the average recording artist if they bought her a lotto ticket than if they gave her 45 years more copyright.

    This is the first time that I know of, in the history of the world, that any country has given up on extended copyright terms. In the US, the Supreme Court found that 98 percent of the works in copyright were "orphans" with no visible owner and no way to clear them and bring them back into the world. Extending copyright dooms nearly every author's life's work to obscurity and disappearance, in order to make a few more pennies for the tiny minority of millionaire artists like Cliff Richards (and billionaires like Paul McCartney)"
    The chart below was a key diagram in the Gowers report citing that increased terms would not necessarily be the best way of supporting artists. Few records continue generating royalties after 50 years and the chart argues that re-evaluating recording contracts in favor of artists may prove a more effective method.

    The United States had previously extended the length of copyright to 95 years with the 1998 Sonny Bono Act. However, the Act was derided as the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act” under accusations that it was passed primarily to keep Micky Mouse out of the public domain, long after the death of his creator.

  2. #2

    Re: Legal Dept:UK Says No to Over 50 Year Music Copyright

    Does that mean that early Elvis recordings are now public domain in the UK (though not in the U.S.)?
    Vista / Sonar Home Studio 6 / GPO 2d edition / Melodyne Uno 1.8

  3. #3

    Re: Legal Dept:UK Says No to Over 50 Year Music Copyright

    Interesting. I notice that this refers to "music recording copyrights." I wonder if the rules are different for compositions and sync (music to film) rights.

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