Extension of copyright term postponed in the European Parliament

By EDRi · March 25, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Ausweitung der Urheberrechtsfrist vom Europäischen Parlament verschoben | http://www.unwatched.org/node/1343]

Macedonian: [ЕП го одложи продолжувањето на период.. | http://www.metamorphosis.org.mk/content/view/1410/4/lang,mk/]

As a result of the very large controversy and lack of consensus among MEPs,
in a meeting of the presidents of the political groups in the European
Parliament on 17 March 2009, the vote on the extension of the copyright
term, which was due for 23 March 2009, was postponed for the end of April

The proposed directive, introduced by Commissioner McCreevy, was to extend
copyright from 50 to 90 years and was allegedly meant to support performers
during their old age. As the many opponents to the proposal have emphasized
and as several studies have shown, the extension would mostly benefit the
major multinational companies and would negatively affect the economy and
culture of Europe.

Professor Martin Kretschmer, Director of the Centre for Intellectual
Property Policy & Management Bournmemouth considered the measure would be
beneficial to the four multinational record companies Universal, Sony BMG,
Warner Music and EMI owning almost all the key records to be covered by the
extension, a few major artists and the collecting societies.

According to the calculation of the European Commission’s own figures, most
of the performers would only receive about 52 euro/year while according to
the EDRi-member Open Rights Group’s estimation, 80% of the performers would
receive only 0.5 to 27 euro/year. Even if we take into consideration the
Commission’s figure, the amount is far from helping aging performers.

The Association for Fair Audiovisual Copyright in Europe (“A Face”), a group
including individuals and associations of the European audiovisual
community, has joined other voices against the directive and initiated a
petition against it. “We regard the proposed Directive, and any other one
based on similar principles and affecting the audiovisual world, as
detrimental to the development and dissemination of European culture and
economy, which are among the basic missions of the European Parliament. For
this reason, we intend to actively oppose their approval and call everybody
to support this cause” is the statement of the group. Face’s goal is to make
sure copyright does not deviate from its initial purpose of “protecting the
interest of right holders only to the extent a general progress of culture
is assured.”

At the end of March, a discussion between the European Commission, European
Council and the European Parliament will decide whether the directive will
be allowed to be furthers discussed in the European Parliament.

MEPs back off from copyright term extension vote! (19.03.2009)

Copyright extension debate: We must not inhibit digital creators

Association for Fair Audiovisual Copyright in Europe Petition of the
european audiovisual community against the proposed directive for a
copyright term Extension for sound recordings

EDRI- gram: Reject the Term Extension Directive (21.01.2009)