Skip to comments.(UK) Musicians urge copyright change (now that the British Invasion may go public domain)
Posted on 12/01/2008 8:16:40 AM PST by weegee
A video message on behalf of 38,000 UK musicians has been sent... many of whom have worked with major artists, say they risk losing their income under current laws.
Performers' copyright runs out after 50 years but for composers and authors it extends for 70 years after their death.
The European Commission is backing an extension to 95 years from release, but the UK government is not supportive.
Under current copyright laws, royalties will soon dry up for session musicians who played on classic tracks released in the 1960s, campaigners say...
Phil Pickett, a musician who played with '80s band Culture Club, said the amount of money a copyright change would provide musicians was small but important.
"Ninety per cent of musicians earn less than £15,000 a year. These royalties are very small but they add up over the years," he said.
But the Open Rights Group, a lobbying organisation which specialises in digital rights issues, says performers are "misguided" if they believe a copyright term extension will significantly increase their incomes.
"The European Commission's own figures demonstrate that term extension is likely to benefit ordinary performers as little as 50 cents (33p) a year," says executive director Becky Hogge.
"If Europe passes the directive to extend the term, the vast majority of financial gains - which will come direct from consumers' pockets - will go to the world's four major record labels and a handful of very famous performers."
It added that the EC had indicated artists just starting out would lose income as royalties from radio airplay will have to be shared with the estates of deceased performing artists...
"The UK believes the proposal is too complex and most of the benefits will go to the record companies rather than the performers...
(Excerpt) Read more at news.bbc.co.uk ...
If the songs were permitted to lapse into the public domain, a session musician (who hit it big) like Jimmy Page could release his OWN compilation of the different artists’ tracks he played on.
And I fail to see “what” is different about seeing that the Beatles continue to make money off of Beatlemusic (when 2 of them are dead) when works by Elvis, Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong are now public domain under English law (and are appearing on low priced compilations).
They didn’t raise a stink when the artists who INFLUENCED them went PD.
It’s not like copyright is respected anyway.
IMHO, copyright should at least be as long as the person’s lifetime (in other words, as long as you are alive you still own the copyright to your works.)
Beyond that, I don’t know. You’re not talking about benefiting the person that created it, but their ancestors (which has to be balanced with the benefit to society.)
If I had to put a number on it, I would say the person’s lifetime or 50 years (whichever is longer.) That would cover people that die young, but still allow people to retain the rights to their work while they were alive.
“If Europe passes the directive to extend the term, the vast majority of financial gains - which will come direct from consumers’ pockets - will go to the world’s four major record labels and a handful of very famous performers.”
Don’t most session musicians sign those rights over to the record company in return for their initial payment at the time of the recording anyway? Which would make this a “protect the fat cats” proposal.
The European Commission is backing an extension to 95 years from release.That's ridiculous.
If the songs were permitted to lapse into the public domain, a session musician (who hit it big) like Jimmy Page could release his OWN compilation of the different artists' tracks he played on.Speaking of Jimmy Page, he has released other artists' works under his own name, it's called, much of the Led Zep catalog. ;')
This is what US law changed to under Clinton.
Good one. I'm Sure Blind Willie Johnson would concur.
The problem with excessively-long copyrights is that stuff with a very small niche audience may disappear entirely, due to media being too degraded by the time they are public domain and thus legally copyable.
Not a problem now with digital media.
Actually I wasn’t referring to the blues tunes he ripped off (including Zepplin songs recorded under their own name), I am talking about work he did for everyone from the Kinks to Tom Jones.
Still a problem. Digitally created works are just starting their clocks.
There are plenty of OLD works that will expire before their copyrights do.
And 50 years out, do you think there will be much backwards compatibility to play old formats? Will you still have a CD player in the age of chips, offsite storage of tracks, etc. If music was on floppy discs, you’d have a hard time even scaring up the equipment to play it. Let alone the codecs and players that are backwards compatibile. And the Digital Millenium Copyright Act will prohibit you circumventing that copy protection EVEN AFTER THE COPYRIGHT HAS EXPIRED.
The money goes to a handful of corporations. The musicians sold their stake in the music long ago.
And if someone who played an instrument in Boy George’s 1980s band is worried about not getting money from those recordings in 20 more years, he should try to figure out if those songs will even be POPULAR in 20 more years.
Since these guys were American, English law doesn't matter one wit. And NO, none of these guys' work is public domain. Heck, there isn't a single person posting on this website who could accurately tell you the date for which any of their works will become public domain.
The works ARE public domain in England. It is a matter for the ports to not permit import of such compilations as they would be in violation of US copyright law.
That is why there is a big stink over the works POST 1959 lapsing into the public domain.
We were discussing degradation of media.
:’) and Willie Dixon, and Memphis Minnie, and...
A larger question is what about the works of the Beatles? I thought an American record company sold the rights to Micheal Jackson a decade or so back. Who's law applies here? BTW, If MJ renounces his American citizenship, then whose law takes precedence?
My point on American copyrighted work still stands: “No one can tell you when any song/copyrighted work becomes Public Domain because current federal law appears to allow these works to be held in perpetuity. Long after the originator has died. Don't believe me, “Happy Birthday” is NOT in the public domain.
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