Feeds

EU commissioner backs record biz on copyright extensions

The picture of Dorian Gray Sir Cliff

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.