Bob Dylan's new album is 'Copyright Extension Collection'
The times they are a-changin', thanks to Cliff Richard
Europe's decision to extend copyright on music recordings from 50 to 70 years has just produced a curiosity: a four-disk compilation of Bob Dylan tunes that publisher Sony Music has come right out and called “The Copyright Extension Collection”.
The new laws were introduced in September 2011 and became known as “Cliff's Law”, as they meant Sir Cliff Richard could continue to cash in on songs he recorded in the early 1960s. US and Australian recording artists already enjoyed such a right, as copyright periods in those nations were already 70 years.
As we reported in September 2011, the 20-year extension is only available to works published before the expiration of the 50-year copyright term.
Sony's name for the new release is therefore an accurate description of the reason for its existence: had the company not emitted the collection it would have lost the rights to cash in on it for another 20 years.
That plan's clearly working: Sony is said to have released just 100 of the collections to select record stores on the continent, but they're already fetching colossal prices on eBay. The collection is also sold online at Bobdylan.com, with some rather fierce geotargeting preventing everyone getting their hands on it.
Sony's in the basement, mixing up some medicine ...
At the time the new copyright laws arrived, The Reg speculated they could damage the market for re-releases of old recordings. While Sony has been unashamedly cynical with this release, the collection shows signs of careful curation and includes some unreleased studio takes and other material likely to excite Dylan fans. ®
Dylan would not have written these songs decades ago if he didn't think the copyright period would be extended by 20 years in 2013.
(that was sarcasm)
copyright laws are now anti-public
The point of these laws was to benefit the pubic, now they are designed to protect the music cartels. Those cartels are not beneficent, they have contracts that ensure that the artists they own are paid peanuts, if at all. The movie industry is also guilty of bribing, I mean, lobbying, politicians - hence the copyright law is called the Mickey Mouse copyright law - it's always extended to "protect" mickey mouse.
Copyright law, like modern patent law, is pure corruption and serves no one but a tiny % of the rich and powerful.
I have a current problem with copyrights....
Everyone needs a hobby! One of mine is making wooden model boats. A little while ago, I became interested in documenting models of old kits from the 1960s, a period of great technical change in the hobby, and hence historically interesting.
These kits were made by small companies - often one-man set-ups. When they went closed down the company assets (which included the plans copyrights) would usually not have been sold - they obviously had no commercial value! So they will have devolved to the company owner's heirs. Because of the huge increase in copyright length, I have been having to obtain the rights to get these forgotten parts of our history published on a web site.
What actually happens is that the people I contact do not realise that they may have inherited these rights. When I explain to them that I believe that they may have them, the first thing they think about is whether they have value, and whether they can sell them. Then, the next thing that they realise is that they can do nothing without consulting a lawyer, because they need to prove ownership. And inheritance and IP lawyers do not come cheap. So they refuse to go any further.
They are not going to spend any money on determining the status of some long-lost great-grandfather's document, which I believe to be of only historical value. They are not going to give me permission to publish, because I might be a scam artist come to trick them out of a fortune. So the data cannot be published or distributed, and will soon be forgotten completely.
Thank you, Mr Disney....