The European Parliament has today extended the term of protection for music copyrights from 50 years to 95 years.  Also contained in the legislation is a provision preventing past contractual agreements from deducting new royalties resulting from the extension.  In addition, there is a provision providing for a session-musician fund to be created to which producers must pay 20% of new royalties.  The Parliament Press Release considers a meeting by January 2010 to discuss an extension for audiovisual works, and the extension for music copyrights will be revisited in three years to assess its benefit going forward.

I can’t say that the extension makes me smile.  I’ve written on the problems with extending copyright terms to perpetual copyright protection; its adverse impact on the public domain, and the friction it causes in the creation process.  There is an optimal point of protection, and I believe that the U.S. system entered the point of diminishing returns with its latest copyright extension in 1998.  Nevertheless, protection to a certain extent is good, and this is a good day for recording artists and musicians.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 12th, 2009 at 11:23 am.
Categories: Today in IP ~ by Ian McClure.

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