Thursday, April 23, 2009

Europe makes Cliff's day

The European Parliament has voted to extend copyright in recordings to seventy years.

The BBC coverage is a bit shabby, starting with this:

Musicians in line for cash boost

and then going on to claim that "thousands" of "less well-off session musicians" will benefit from this "boost", even although almost nobody believes that.

In fact, the only sour note is buried deep in the piece:
UK Green MEP Caroline Lucas said: "I am disappointed that MEPs chose to ignore the voices of the artists they claim to be helping.

"It is clear that action is needed to better reward performers for their work, but the legislation approved today is absolutely not the solution.

"The copyright extension to 70 years will fill the pockets of a limited number of powerful corporations and harm performer rights and artistic creativity."

The one encouraging note is that material currently out of copyright won't be taken back in - which is what happened when copyright in published work was extended, with a number of public domain works vanishing again.


Anonymous said...

Where exactly has this session musicians benefiting from copyright extension myth come from? It simply couldn't be less true. They give the example of "The Beatles' first release is due to go out of copyright in 2012" and yet don't go on to mention Andy White being the drummer on that. How much has he actually earned purely from sales of that record? I doubt he earned anything after the day it was recorded and this extension nonsense isn't going to change that (Ok so he's not a good example since he's probably made money from the single merely from the distinction of being "The Drummer On The First Beatles Single" but I'm specifically of talking sales of the recording)

Chris Brown said...

A pedant writes: Actually, Ringo was the drummer on the original single version of 'Love Me Do' - the version with Andy White on it wasn't released until 1963, and hence would remain in EMI's ownership until the start of 2014. Andy White is on the B-side though.

That aside, it's a good point. I think session musicians now are all on a percentage, but they weren't necessarily back then.

Anonymous said...

Have you read anything about #warnerfail ? (gosh I hate these twitter names for things they are almost as bad as the dreaded "-gate" suffix... almost). Some Norwegian kid was actually downright insulted by an A & R guy at Warners purely for having the nerve to ask why he wasn't going to be allowed to buy some Dave Matthews Band US only album. (link) It's apparently getting attention in Norway but since my Norwegian is limited to knowing that Edvard Grieg roughly translates to Edvard Grieg then I couldn't say much more about it.

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