Thursday, December 07, 2006

Artists united against Andrew Gowers

With the treasury-ordered Gowers reporting coming out firmly against the extension of copyright on recordings from 50 to 95 years, 4,500 musicians have signed an advert in today's FT urging the government to ignore him.

Amongst the poor, suffering likes of Paul McCartney, Sir Rich Clifford and U2 are numerous session and orchestral artists, who generously have thrown their weight behind the Cliff campaign despite often being on flat rates rather than royalties. In effect, they've signed an advert calling for their employers to be given an advantage - we imagine it's possible they think that the saxophonist arranging to appear on Katie Melua's next album might be able to get a few extra quid by pointing out that the label will be enjoying an extra half-century of earnings from their work; or, perhaps, they just figure that signing the bosses' chit can't hurt the next time jobs are being handed out. Maybe one or two actually would do better out of the new system.

But really: U2. Cliff Richard. McCartney. Are they really going to starve if their work starts to slip into the public doman five decades after they recorded it?


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