Feeds

Radiohead and chums demand copyright 'fair play'

The Cliff Clause

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A pop stars' pressure group has called for copyright in sound recordings to be extended beyond the current 50-year term, but has said that artists should be given control of the copyright after 50 years.

The European Commission and European Parliament are debating proposals to extend the period of protection for sound recordings from 50 years to 95 years. The Featured Artists' Coalition (FAC) says that once 50 years have passed copyright should automatically transfer from record labels to artists.

"We believe that all rights in recordings should revert to the artist after 50 years," said a FAC statement, according to the BBC. "While the record companies would lose nothing, as they only expected to own the copyright for the current 50 year term, both artists and consumers stand to gain from this proposal."

The board of the FAC includes Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien, singer Kate Nash and Blur Drummer Dave Rowntree.

The FAC has formulated a set of policies on copyright and intellectual property that is different to that of more traditional music industry lobbying groups which have usually represented the rights of record labels rather than artists.

It has launched a 'charter for fair play', outlining how it thinks music makers should be treated. "Artists should retain ultimate ownership of their music," it says. "Rights holders should have a fiduciary duty of care to the originator of those rights and must always explain how any agreement may affect how their work is exploited."

"The digital revolution has swept away the old music business of the 1960s, and changed forever the relationship between artists and fans," said Rowntree. "For companies who made their living sitting between the two, these are increasingly hard times, but for music makers and music fans this should be a fantastic opportunity."

A committee of the European Parliament last week reaffirmed its commitment to the extension of copyright protection in sound recordings to 95 years. A report outlining how the law should change was backed by a vote of the Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee.

"To ensure that performers fully enjoy the additional royalties deriving from copyright extension, the committee amended the original text so as to prevent the use of previous contractual agreements to deduct money from the additional royalties," it said.

But another wing of EU government last week blocked the extension. The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the Council of Ministers did not give the plan its backing.

COREPER is a committee made up of the ambassadors to the EU of the 27 member states. It examines and judges proposals before they reach the Council of Ministers, whose approval is needed for any new laws. The UK voted against the term extension at COREPER last week.

The FAC said that any extension of existing rights would act against the interests of artists and would only benefit record companies.

"Record companies would simply gain another 45 years of ownership, entrenching the terms of record contracts signed in an analogue age," the FAC statement said.

A group of recording industry bodies including the Musicians' Union and record label lobby group the British Phonographic Industries (BPI) said that they were unhappy with the vote.

“The British music sector is very disappointed by the absence of agreement on an extension for performers and sound recording rights at the COREPER meeting today, and particularly that our own government, despite its recent positive statements, did not vote in favour of the proposal at this meeting," a joint statement said.

“The UK music sector has lived up to its commitments by reaching an agreement, as demanded by Ministers, that will deliver real benefits to musicians in an extended term. In continuing to hold out for further changes, the government has not heeded the repeated pleas of the very musicians it claims to support, who strongly encouraged it to vote for the proposal today," it said.

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
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.