Feeds

EU commissioner backs record biz on copyright extensions

The picture of Dorian Gray Sir Cliff

Remote control for virtualized desktops

European internal markets commissioner Charlie McCreevy has thrown his weight behind the long-running record industry campaign to extend copyright protection for sound recordings.

Under proposals the Irish politician announced yesterday, performance rights holders such as Cliff Richard would receive royalties for 95 years rather than the current 50 year term. It would bring the EU in line with the US, where copyrights have been repeatedly extended at the behest of the Disney corporation.

The domestic push for term extension was comprehensively rejected by the Gowers Review of intellectual property in 2006. Based on economic analysis by Cambridge University, Financial Times former editor Andrew Gowers concluded that the beneficiaries of extension would be mostly "major record labels and their shareholders".

The UK government accepted his recommendation in July 2007, saying "the review took account of the question of parity with other countries such as the US, and concluded that, although royalties were payable for longer there, the total amount was likely to be similar – or possibly less – as there were fewer revenue streams available under the US system".

Long before then, however, the BPI signalled its intention to take the lobbying campaign to Brussels in spite of Gowers' evidence. In an interview with The Register, Gowers lamented: "They [the EU] will surely be descended upon by the lobbyists in the coming months."

That European assault has now apparently borne its first fruit.

"I disagree with Gowers," McCreevy said yesterday. "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." The UK offers composers copyright protection for their lifetime plus 70 years.

McCreevy's 95-year plan would need to be backed by the European Parliament and then a majority of national governments. The UK has not indicated any shift in its position. The Tory opposition, however, has offered the BPI copyright extension in exchange for an undertaking from its members to provide "positive role models for young kids to look up to, draw inspiration from, and aspire to be".

The European proposals also include a consultation on how to operate copyright infringement levies on blank media across the bloc, and powers for musicians to jump ship to a new record label if their current one won't re-release old albums. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.