UK Government rejects the extension of the copyright term for performers
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To the big disappointment of the music industry, the UK Government refused
to promote at the EU level, the extension of the presently 50-year copyright
term for performers.
According to the EU rules, the copyright period for song writers and their
families covers their entire lives plus 70 years while performers and their
producers benefit of a 50 year copyright period starting from the recording
UK Government considers that the majority of the performers would not
benefit of the extension as most of them “have contractual relationship
requiring their royalties be paid back to the record label.” It also stated
that such an extension would lead to the increase of costs for the industry
and to the consumers.
The government took as argument a study of intellectual property rights in
the UK made in December 2006 by Andrew Gowers. The report recommended
against a previous request for copyright term extension considering UK did
not suffer from a deficit in creativity due to a shorter copyright term as
compared to the USA.
The Gowers report included a diagram showing an increased term would not
necessarily be the best way of supporting artists. Few records generate
royalties after 50 years and the chart shows a more effective method could
be the re-evaluating of the recording contracts in favor of artists.
But John Kennedy, the head of IFPI (International Federation of the
Phonographic Industry), complained: “Some of the greatest works of British
music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the
companies that invested in them. Extending copyright term would promote
vital investment in young talent and new music, all of which will help to
secure the UK’s future as an exciting music market.”
UK rejects push for longer copyright in the EU (25.07.2007)
UK rejects music copyright extension (24.07.2007)
The UK Says No to Over 50 Year Music Copyright (24.07.2007)
EDRI-gram: Copyright extension term rejected by EU commissioned report