Feeds

EU commissioner backs record biz on copyright extensions

The picture of Dorian Gray Sir Cliff

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.