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ORG: EU copyright term extension is "cultural disaster"

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Sep 2011 3:02 User comments (4)

ORG: EU copyright term extension is "cultural disaster" Open Rights Group says music copyright extension term from 50 to 70 years in Europe is a cultural disaster.
In a blog post, ORG Executive Director Jim Killock said the change means it will be harder to publish older works, and many will simply remain out of print. He also said research shows that 90 percent of the cash windfall from copyright levies will fall into the hands of record labels.

"Despite the rhetoric, small artists will gain very little from this, while our cultural heritage takes a massive blow by denying us full access to these recordings for another generation," Killock writes.

He references the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, an independent review of Intellectual Property in the UK, and the Hargreaves Report, an independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation in the UK, and how both were highly sceptical of the need to extend the copyright term.

The Hargreaves Report had said that copyright policy needed to be based on hard evidence, and that for copyright term extension, the evidence just wasn't there to support it.

It could have been worse however, the original plan was for 95 years, not 70. A petition signed by 15,000 citizens within the European Union opposed the term extension, and that helped to reduce it to 70.

"The campaign against term extension showed that copyright policy can no longer be a deal done in darkened rooms: the public has a strong interest in the cultural impact of excessive copyright and damaging restrictions," Killock wrote.

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4 user comments

113.9.2011 3:54

With the digital generation making "stocking" and "pressing" a thing of the past, these laws need to be modified so that anything which is not available for purchase is free.

It is like they are saying, "If we don't make money from songs, you can't listen to them...and we don't want to make money from the songs"



213.9.2011 12:16

This should make it clear to everyone that politicians are no longer acting in the best interests of the people, but instead are making a loud and clear statement: We can be Bought!


When laws allow unlimited ownership of ideas, it is to a society as iron fusion is to the core of a star.

When verified realities lead us to anger, we must learn to reevaluate our beliefs.

313.9.2011 23:55

What I don't understand is why these companies have no interest in making money. If people want music, why not sell it to them instead of forcing them to pirate it?

There should be a website where music that is unavailable for purchase can be uploaded by users, and then sold at a standard fee. The non-profit company running the website would put the artist/label/writer part of the sales into an account, and the copyright owner could claim said money simply by going to the site and providing proof of the copyright. In the event that something is on there for 70 years or more without anyone proving copyright, it becomes public domain, and all the money from the sales (plus interest) would be donated to a music-related charity.

Effects:
1.) Piracy of music that is unavailable for purchase would drop significantly.
2.) Record companies, musicians, and writers would make money from music that they are not currently making money on, with no effort or expense on their part other than to claim the money.
3.) A much wider musical base would be available to aspiring artists, creating a richer and more varied selection of music in the future.
4.) Companies could upload their own music that is available elsewhere to this non-profit site, making better profit per sale than they do with Google, Amazon, or iTunes...or making more sales due to lower track costs that still give the same revenue as would be seen with Google/Amazon/iTunes.
5.) After a few years, with the help of the labels who want more money and with lots of help from dedicated users who want to preserve the past, the site would become a central repository for the collected musical works of the earth. No more need to search google and torrent sites to find what you want...just go to this one website and it is all there and all legal. This would also allow the entire collection to be backed up to various secure facilities around the world...preventing any further loss of the history of music.
6.) Once this method is in effect, the same could easily be applied to literature, film, and most interactive media...this would effectively kill any claim that piracy was anything other than theft (or at least half of theft...since nothing is physically removed).



418.9.2011 0:55

Originally posted by KillerBug:
With the digital generation making "stocking" and "pressing" a thing of the past, these laws need to be modified so that anything which is not available for purchase is free.

It is like they are saying, "If we don't make money from songs, you can't listen to them...and we don't want to make money from the songs"
I would go one step further and include every software / OS that is no longer officially supported or sold/licensed.

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