Friday, February 15, 2008

EC to overturn results of Gowers Report?

Now, there's a headline for the teenagers.

With the UK government having accepted the findings of the Gowers Report that copyright in performances shouldn't be extended, it looked like that music business proposal had been dead and buried.

Trouble is, though, the European Commission is now suggesting extending copyright grow from fifty to 95 years:

The European Union's internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy said that "copyright protection for Europe's performers represents a moral right to control the use of their work and earn a living from their performances".

"It is the performer who gives life to the composition and while most of us have no idea who wrote our favourite song, we can usually name the performer," he said.

And that's grounds for changing the copyright, is it? Because people are more familiar with Robbie Williams than Guy Chambers?

It's not really the most compelling argument, is it?

The EC doesn't reveal how many performers remain alive ninety-five years after their performances; nor does it seem bothered that most performances are not owned by the people who gave them, but by corporations. Even although, applying McCreevy's weak logic, the proposal is going to fall since hardly anybody could name the parent company which owns mechnical copyright on our favourite songs.


Anonymous said...

It breaks my heart that copyrights have been extended to the point where the public domain is no longer at all relevant to the generation it represented, because they're all dead before the copyright expires.

The whole point of copyright was for it to be of primary benefit to society, as well as the creator, by being a *limited* monopoly. 70 years after death for publishing and no doubt at some point soon, given the corporation lobbying, 95 years from creation for sound recordings, is, in my opinion, not limited enough.

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