More on Copyright: in the EU

Sometimes I wonder if this is really news, or just kindling to get me fired up.. Just in from the shores of the European Union – plans afoot to extend *retroactively* copyright on musical works by an insane 45 years.

Please join me in a chorus of “you’ve-got-to-be-joking”.  This means that you might as well call copyright on music in the EU a 100 year proposition.  Or the equivalent of three generations. I’m sorry, but since when did we get into the state of ensuring the comfort and luxury or the aged author or his/her great-grand children?

Obviously, this law is uniform, which means it protects the rights of copyright holders who own unpopular music too – it’s not just Beatles tunes that are being protected.  Consider the impact such a move has on the creation of new works of music (given that by this point we are starting to exhaust the number of lyrics put to a tune). 

This would, presumably, also apply to elevator muzak, show tunes, advertisements (jingles) – when will whistling become copyrighted?  Isn’t whistling a tune considered a derivative work?  When will this madness end? 

I like this quote from the ars technica article:

"everyone who participated in the current system did so knowing about the 50-year term; no one is in danger of "losing" anything they were once promised, and they’ve had half a century to plan for the future."

– not too mention, how many of us get the luxury of ongoing income for work we accomplished 50 years ago?  Why does this small subsection of the populace get such differential treatment?

So, to the crux of the proposal: "The Commission adopted a proposal to extend the term of protection for performers and sound recordings to 95 years ..[bringing into line with Authors life+ 70 years!!]..  The extended term will also benefit record producers who will generate additional revenue from the sale of records in shops and on the internet. "

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