back to article EU recording copyright extension 'will cost €1bn'

Extending the term of copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years will cost the general public more than €1bn, an intellectual property academic has claimed. Earlier this week changes were approved to the EU's Directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights. The change means music …


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  1. Purlieu


    So, exactly, how much difference does this make to the freetard culture ?

    1. Havin_it

      Wrong byline, mate. The Orlowski articles are over there ---->

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Quite a bit I hope.

      As more many people will begin to realise what "Freetards" have been saying all along "The copyright system is broken beyond repair" and "people now have unlimited access to everyone else's culture, why are bodies like the MPA allowed to erode the right to privacy only so they can criminalise the basic human desire to share?".

      I have a young son and I have tried to teach him 3 basic things; good manners, not to hurt others and to share with others....

      1. CmdrX3

        Are you kidding me

        "the basic human desire to share"

        More basic in human desire is greed and self preservation, I would say sharing is pretty low down on the although I do agree that the copyright system is screwed up and rewards only the big labels and big names. It would have been a better idea if copyright was removed from the big labels after a period of around 30 years and any benefit received after that would revert to the creators.

        Why though anyone feels they should expect to live off something for half a century never mind more is beyond me.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          "More basic in human desire is greed and self preservation"

          ...such as lobbying to increase the duration of copyright?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What right to privacy overrides the principle of property - including intellectual property? These 'sharers' criminalise themselves, insomuch as anyone does. Your young son will never make a career as a composer or within the film industry because of your attitude. If you teach your son not to hurt others and have good manners, then that should imply respect for the essential paywall for goods and services which copyright law forms a vital part of - for the sake of what is left of the western content-creation economies. If you can't handle that piece of logic, what criminal and civil law exists, exists - one would hope - to slap you so hard that you can't resist complying.

        What difference from the looters destroying businesses during the recent UK riots, and digital looters destroying creative businesses and careers?

        You have no moral compass - you're merely asserting your economic adversarial ability to steal - well I say Sharia has it about right.

        1. M Gale

          There is a profound difference...

          ...between copyright and "intellectual property".

          I'd not have a problem if copyright was just there to stop Dodgy Bob from selling your movie on a market stall for a fiver and not giving you your cut. You know, making sure the creator of a work gets some compensation for his or her efforts. However, "intellectual property" has gone way, way beyond that. A 70 year extension? How is that not cultural theft? Between this and the ever-increasing encroachment of a completely fouled-up patent system, it's a wonder anything gets produced, invented or otherwise composed at all without everybody getting sued!

          Oh hang on, wait a minute...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Therefore, some performers face an income gap at the end of their lifetimes.

    It's called a pension or job. Get over it.

    1. DavCrav

      I built a chair in my 20s, people still pay me now to sit in it

      Oh no wait, they don't.

      1. Ru

        Build a more entertaining chair

        Maybe you should have made some more... interactive furniture?

      2. JimC

        They could do...

        You could lease your chairs out rather than sell them. No money up front but a income stream for as long as people want to sit in them. Rather like records - no money up front (other than a record company giving you an advance against sales) but an income stream as long as people want to buy the records.

    2. Peter Simpson 1

      *some* performers

      Those would be the performers who converted their income into white powder and sucked it up their noses, then?

  3. M Gale

    Well, I knew THIS wasn't going to be an Orlowski article.

  4. Tom 7 Silver badge

    The article is not wrong

    however we need to break away from the pap the industry forces on us. 99% of music is copyright free and with FLOSS software you can take old scores and play with them yourself. I'd guess that within 10 years almost all out of copyright music will be available in MusicXML format and with that you can use any player as you would an MP3 player now but better still learn how to play yourself.

    And the MusicXML will probably reveal that almost all modern music is in fact plagiarised from older tunes by modern copyright law standards.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      99% out of copyright?

      What are you referring to in your 99% being copyright free?

      Certainly not recorded music. Records became really affordable and common in the 1950's, with I guess the golden years for the recording industry and artists being the '60s and '70's. Almost all of that music is certainly within copyright.

      If you are referring to sheet music, then the rules are different, but still most published sheet music will still be in copyright. And it is not only photocopying sheet music that is not allowed. If you take a piece of sheet music (called an imprint), and transcribe it by hand into Sibelius or Lilypond, then this is against copyright law.

      You can only transcribe from an out-of-copyright source for it to be legal.

      Even for music that was written hundreds of years ago, you are not allowed to transcribe it from a recently published copy, as it is the imprint, not the music that is copyrighted. This is one of the reasons why music publishers keep putting "Revised in XXXX" on the bottom of their music. Just changing the date counts as a revision, and thus renews the imprint. I often think that the errors you find on sheet music are deliberate, so that the publishers can track down exactly what imprint was transcribed onto the 'net.

      This is the one of the reasons that the Harry Fox organisation were able to take down so many of the guitar Tab sites, as they claimed that they were transcribed from copies in copyright.

      On a different note, even if someone writes and records their own music, they have automatic copyright ownership, even if they choose not to assert it. Copyright is automatic in most western legal systems.

      Mind you, I wonder what happens with the records that were already deemed to have fallen out of copyright, which will now be covered (anything released from 1941 through 1961). Some of this will already have been published as copyright-free. How do you put the genie back in the bottle?

      1. Alan Mackenzie

        Sheet music goes out of copyright 70 years after the composer's death. There are some exceptional rules about "scholarly editions" in some places (Germany), but basically, 70 years and that's it. After that time you may photocopy even recent editions. If you want to play a Mahler symphony, download the parts from

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          @Alan. I do no believe that this is correct

          I believe that sheet music actually produced however many years ago is copyright free, but if a new edition of an old work, newly typeset with "significant changes", is published, then this has a copyright of it's own.

          I quote from the copyright section of the CPDL website, which is a site for choral music in the public-domain, for whom adherence to copyright law is essential. I assume they have done their due-diligence.

          "Can modern editions of public-domain music be copyrighted?

          In short, the answer is yes. However, generally there has to be significant articstic/editorial content to make an edition copyrightable. There are a spectrum of editions. On one end are editions which are not copyrightable: these include old editions with expired copyright as well as republications of public domain editions which use the original engravings. Editions which are based on public domain music and add no other editorial content probably are not copyrightable. Further along on the spectrum are editions which include editorial explanations, piano reductions, translations and other additions. These aspects are copyrightable; however, if you perform an edition without using these additions, it might be difficult to prove that you have violated copyright law. Nevertheless, you certainly could be sued, and the resulting cost would be great, whether you lost or not. Further along are full-blown arrangements based on public domain works. These are fully copyrightable and can not be copied unless permission is granted by the copyright holder. The problem for the choral director is that most editons of older music fall somewhere in between being uncopyrightable and being fully copywritable. Add in the problem that almost all music today has a copyright notice (whether that notice is valid or not) and it becomes easiest to assume all editied music is copywritten." (sic - this was a cut-and-paste from their web page, I must point out the typos)

          If what you have is a recently published exact facsimile copy of a score that was originally published over 70 years ago, then you could be correct, but the music publishers are wise to this, and only have to put an explanatory note, incidental 'clarification' or even 'corrections' onto the copy for it to be covered by a new copyright.

          I'm sure that there are national differences in copyright law, but this is what I work to.

  5. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Sweden is right

    So the assumption is that there are poor artists out there who made a big enough splash 50 years ago that people are still buying their work, but not big enough to actually build up a pension fund.

    Sorry, I just don't believe it.

    If this is what copyright is for, it is wrong and should be abolished.

    If it isn't, it is broken and should be abolished.

    1. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt

      Copyright has evolved

      beyond the idea of protecting artists and trying to ensure that they are compensated for the works they create, to protecting a cartel of record labels who have no idea how to survive in a digital age.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    50 to 70

    unless it was some child star that created their first record aged 5 then the majority of people won't even be alive after 70 years to benefit from the extra extension so it will just be the record labels lining their pockets with the extra money.

    Also the majority of people work for from their 20s to into their 60s to earn their money. I certainly won't be earning royalties from the work i did last week never mind years ago. I think 50 years is too long already it doesn't encourage people to create new works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > won't even be alive after 70 years to benefit

      That is the idea; if they are pushing up daisies they are presumably no longer eligible for royalty cheques.

      The record company now have a much higher chance of keeping all the money rather than just most of it.

      Just as planned....

    2. Richard Cranium

      Cliff Richards?

      ... will 70 years be enough for him?

      But the income issue is only part of the story. Cliff doesn't want his songs to be used to advertise Soap Powder within his lifetime. And BTW on his death the record companies don't get to keep everything, his estate should be getting his share of royalties. Not that I'm an apologist for the greedy parasites that live on the backs of musicians and composers. The PRS means we can't listen to the radio in my office because they want £400 a year license (of which the performers/composers get to see very little while PRS staff lounge on generous salaries) - and the Radio Co has already paid a license fee to broadcast it.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Winehouse effect

      If the whole idea is to "protect the artist" then shouldn't the copyright lapse when the artist kicks the bucket?

  7. CADmonkey

    Baby Boomers:1......Their children & grandchildren:0

    Story of my life.....

    1. Anon E Mus

      Would it be rude...

      ... to suggest solving this problem with a generational genocide? Or by getting rid of winter fuel allowance and letting things sort themselves out?

  8. Joe Montana

    An 'income gap at the end of their life times'

    This is ridiculous, what right does someone who made some music in their 20s have to continue deriving revenue from that music in their 90s?

    These people should have to invest their money wisely when young and set up pension schemes etc, just like everyone else.

    Copyright terms of 50 years were already far too long, 70 years is just insane and the swedish representative had it right, the more ridiculous copyright terms are the more people will feel justified in ignoring it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Surely by the same account rich people should give up their assets since most of them inherited their wealth?

      As for them investing and setting up a pension when they are young - I've no interest in rock bands whose sole purpose is to make money. Can you image how lame the 60s and 70s would have been without the hedonism.

  9. Anon E Mus


    Another law that's irrelevant to anything.

  10. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Actually it doesn't "cost €1bn"

    But then it's Martin Kretschmer.

    1. James Anderson

      not anything like a billion

      When was the last time you rushed out and bought a Lonnie Donigan or Max. Bygraves?

      The market share for 50 year old songs must be infinitesimal and pretty much restricted to soundtrack for the BBCs costumed nostalgia fests .

      The industry is probably hoping to screw even more money from.their sixties hay day,

      But the only people interested will be old grey and suffering from an income gap.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge


        But consider the radio-plays. Each time a record that is still in copyright gets airplay, it earns a play-fee for the copyright owner, and probably also the artist (this depends on their contract with their record label).

        A small proportion of the PRS licence paid by shops, DJs, and other organization that play music in public places is also distributed to all artists who still have copyright on their works. There will be residual fees if it is included on a compilation, and for use on adverts. There's also ring-tones, re-mixes and samples on modern records, and if I thought hard about it, I could probably think of other uses of recorded music that may generate revenue (ahh, another one - games, although probably not Max Bygraves. And another, YouTube.)

        I'm sure that most artists will not get a lot from this, but there will be some revenue, and something is better than nothing!

  11. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Given the arguments made for this, the only defensible change would be "Original artists' lifetime or 50 years, whichever is longer".

    A blanket 70 years is simply a giant F You to all current artists, as it simply transfers a lot of consumer expenditure from living artists who actuially need the money to all those dead ones, who generally don't.

    An interesting concept might be Original artists' lifetime *only*, as then the record labels have a financial interest in the artist staying alive as long as possible, rather than the current situation where the record label usually stands to gain if the artist dies young.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      @Richard 12

      "Original artists' lifetime *only*, as then the record labels have a financial interest in the artist staying alive as long as possible"

      Head in a jar anyone?

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. steward

        It's *exactly* comparable to the designer

        of the IKEA chair you are sat upon. The designer of the chair is the artist. Is there an EU law proposal to give that designer 4% of the sale price of all those chairs people are sat upon?

        And the digital distributor of music is in all probability several machines - in fact, the proposed law may reduce the number of machines distributing it, because it will make it illegal for all but a small cartel to publish it at greatly inflated rates, compared to the cost of running the servers for people to download it. After all, freetards aren't into spending a lot of money; ergo, the cost of distribution is de minimis.

      2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        "Without revenue from copyright, what incentive is there to publish such works after someone's death"

        Eh.... how about revenue from sales, of course without copyright you can't prevent somebody else from doing the same, which is probaly the real reason for seeking 70 years copyright

  12. PhilipN

    Will benefit the label rather than the artist

    Er, yes..... You don't know much about the music business, do you?

  13. PyLETS

    overlong copyright disincentives creativity

    As Sweden pointed out, this just creates greater disrespect for the copyright system, which most people can already afford to ignore in practice. But the disrespect applies equally to new and old recordings, causing new musicians to suffer for the benefit of those who have written no new material in decades. Longer terms also make songwriters more likely accidentally to trip over a song they have never heard by writing something similar resulting in litigation risk. If copyright has any purpose for those who are not financial beneficiaries this can only be to encourage new work which would otherwise not be written and published.

    That would suggest terms of 20 years or so as appropriate as no-one will write, record and publish new music based on financial incentive if based on the difference between 20 years revenue from their work and revenue from it accruing to their estate between 20 years and the end of time.

  14. Mike VandeVelde

    "income gap at the end of their life times"

    Yes, if they had a big hit when they were 10 years old (the vast majority of us won't live past 80), and then never worked another day in their lives. Sorry, I don't have any tears for someone like that.

    Not, if they had hits early in their careers and then <gasp>kept working at it</gasp> and created more good music later in their lives. You know, like all the rest of us plebes.

    Between copyright/patents and sex/drugs prohibition, no wonder there is so little respect for the law, and the fence post politicians who write the laws, and the scavenger lawyers who argue the laws, with law enforcement personnel stuck trying to maintain some semblance of order under it all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      come on people, be fair

      Musicians are not your average worker, they need to be amongst the best few in the world in order to break into the top 40. Their best output is usually when they are in their twenties, when they still have something to say, and it is relevant to the chart-music-buying public. I don't see why their output should be treated any different from authors, whose texts are in copyright for actually much longer - 70 years after death i think.

      We should not conflate this issue with the general one of the revenues going to the wrong people, the "rights holders" who originally bought just the rights for the sheet music, for justifiably trivial sums, yet now seem to own the work in its entirety.

      If nothing else, with this bit of legislation they should have extended the copyright period and given all of the new windfall to the original composers and players! - No industry moguls out-of-pocket, and a great injustice partly undone.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Top 40

        "they need to be amongst the best few in the world in order to break into the top 40."

        Best in the world? I think not.

        Should be lucky, follow instructions from their employers and open their mouths in synch with the recording.

        Dying also helps, you may find.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        best few in the world ?

        If I'm looking for interesting music, I use the Top40 (from experience in my radio listening days) as a catalogue of artists to *avoid*. I've followed a few artists who were nice to listen to, somehow made it into the charts (most often due to a movie or advert theme) and subsequently sucked. It seems the only ones immune to this are the cloud cuckoolanders (hi Bjork! ;-) ) who just carry on their own merry way without being corrupted by the influence of "making it big". After all, we only need to see how many of the top 40 are one hit wonders from television talent contests (who will release a song or two before never being heard of again), which - frankly - shows that the top 40 is probably the best marketing in the world, but the calibre of music is far FAR from a Pachelbel composition, it's just chewing gum for the ears, often some noisy over-hyped pap selling to people who don't know better.

        I know I'm sounding like Angry Grandpa, but I did all that in the '80s and even have a soft spot for a lot of it (even though some of the songs are utter nonsense) . But these days I like to listen to something I'm going to *enjoy* and look forward to listening to *again*. I've just fired up Deezer on my phone and sampled the top ten of three countries. *NOTHING* appeals. Not one single song. The chart is, to be brutally blunt, forgettable bullshit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          You Fuckers downvoting my comment...

          A musicians productive life is generally short, and not comparable to mine or yours.

          OK the top 40 was a poor example given the shite that's in it now, but why are we even arguing about x-factor syntho-pop? - it will not benefit from copyright extension even if it were for a million years, its so shite that even the freetards avoid downloading it.

          I was talking about the reasonably decent stuff, particularly that which would have gone out of copyright in the next 20 years. The Artists that wrote and performed this,and who sold it before the concept of back-catalogue had any value, are fully entitled to earn 10p per song off it, they have defined part of our cultural inheritance.

          My complaint is that this "new" money - which is outside of any predicted value of the thing when purchased - is still going to the miserable gits who robbed it off the artists in the first place.

          So, tastes and grumbles aside, should this money be redirected to the original creators?

          Should in fact, all copyright revert to source after say 30 years?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            @all copyright revert to source after say 30 years?

            Interesting idea.

            I think that would probably reduce the up-front fees paid to artists, however those seem to be rapidly becoming a liability to the artist instead of the assistance they used to be - I've read of several occasions where the advance was clawed back because the artist wasn't as popular as expected, and heard of some where the artist ended up with all the liabilities of recording studio time, disc pressing etc - so really they would have been better off without a recording contract at all.

            To me it really looks like the economics of being a recording artist keep getting worse with every change the record companies force through.

            The record companies seem to be claiming that the economics of recording have got worse, but that seems bogus - recording studio time has got much cheaper and you need much less of it these days, session musicians seem to be getting paid less and distribution channel costs are rapidly approaching zero.

            To me it looks like the business model of the record companies is simply obsolete.

            - Heck, look at that abomination called "Friday" by Rebecca Black and claim that record companies are necessary for an artist to make money from their work. According to Wikipedia it cost roughly $8000 to produce, including paying someone to write the song!

            That's dirt cheap.

  15. El Presidente


    Why, you ask.

    Well, a bunch of freetards opened up an identical shop/service/business right next door to where you work.

    The people who opened the business are not bound by any of the rules and regulations that your workplace is and the staff don't take a salary.

    Therefore their business can offer the exact same service as your workplace only they can do it for free. Yay freedtards !! Shit's too expensive anyway !!

    So, as of mid day, you're out of a job. By the end of the month you'll be out of savings and by the end of the year you'll also be a freegan, living out of a skip.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      @ El Presidente

      Happens in reality, you know... Not through freetards, but through greedy and corrupt employers who care most about the money in their pockets, so the work is picked up and moved to a different country with more lenient laws, lower taxation, and employees who will work for peanuts. As for the people back in the home country? Out of a job, too bad, bye-bye.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      El Presidente has been deposed, there's a new El Presidente in town.

    3. MacGyver


      El Pres,

      Can you record yourself working on one day, and then give it to your boss and expect to be paid for the rest of your life, no? Then STFU, why do you care? Are you that programmed by the media?

      Boo hoo for the poor starving artist, if he is starving, then he can get a job like the rest of us. How the hell did the 99.99% of us get tricked with going alone with it in the first place. If they perform a concert they will get paid, if no one goes, then it's time for them to move on. Maybe they should make chairs, I hear that there is some long term money to made there in the future.

  16. Turtle

    The other side of the coin. . . .

    Well it would interesting to get the opinion of an academic who espouses a contrary viewpoint. To make a convincing case for anything is not too difficult, in the absence of criticism or opposition.

    1. JimC

      Bournemouth "University"

      Hmm, a casual glance at their website seems to place emphasis on their ground breaking research into the science of tourism...

  17. Hayden Clark Silver badge

    The Age of the Mouse

    or, the Age of "Summer Holiday".

    In the US, copyright gets extended every time the Mouse's earliest films look like going out of copyright. It looks like the touchstone for EU copyright periods is going to be Sir Cliff's eponymous ditty.

  18. That Steve Guy

    Of course they will do this.

    We can't have hits from The Beatles, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Cliff etc all going out of copyright now can we? Industry would lose all its revenue at christmas with greatest hits albums.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they really wanted to help the musicians...

    The EU should have kept the 50 year rule but changed the law to split copyright duration 50/50 between labels and musicians - the record companies to get the first 25 years, the performers the second 25 years, with an option to license back to their record company if the musicians think the company could do a better job selling the recordings than they can themselves.

    That way the numerous musicians I know who are now coming up to retiring could reissue their 1970s albums online and make a few bucks for themselves, rather than have them permanently sat upon by their uninterested record companies.

  20. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Not quite sure who is representing the public interest in this debate.

    Copyright is good in financing artists who are creating stuff we want to see and hear. It gives them a job. Not a pension. That's up to them to pay out of current income like the rest of us.

    Extending to 70 years is not going to finance artists into creating new stuff even with our longer life expectations. Its about the privatisation of what is currently free by organisations who give little (nothing?) in return. It should be resisted.

    Not only for that but whilst I do respect IP generally - moves like this alienate me from the purpose. Frankly I'm not going to pay for the 20b year extension. I may choose to go without or liberate it. That's a real danger - this land grab does much to devalue respect in IP. If people feel it is a ripoff then they will ripoff in return. That makes it harder to take a moral stand on people who ripoff last week's stuff which is really theft of a performers work.

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart


      "Copyright is good in financing artists who are creating stuff we want to see and hear"

      Sales are good for financing artists who are creating stuff we want to see and hear (and by implication only the good 'stuff' will sell), copyright is for making sure nobody else does it.

      Watch satellite television, all those Time Life collections of C&W music from the 60's, imagine the financial disaster that would fall on Time Life if someone else was to sell them for less than £15 a CD!!!!!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And of course, among those joining Sweden and Belgium in objecting to this EU proposal to interfere yet further in our lives was that scourge of the union, the UK.

    Oh, sorry, no. We just bent over & took it up the arse as usual.

  22. Thomas 18

    If an artist sells you a print of a painting...

    you are free to colour it in with crayons and resell it to someone else or create your own prints. Why this doesn't extend to the music industry is beyond me.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      That's a misunderstanding.

      You can't make your own prints and sell them on without permission.

      You can however sell on the particular print to anyone willing to buy it, regardless of what you did to it in the meantime.

      The Digital Economy Act nearly destroyed photographers' copyright rights though. Thankfully they managed to get that bit thrown out before washup started and Mandybill was thrown through without debate.

  23. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  24. Purlieu

    "Can you imagine how lame the 60s and 70s would have been without the hedonism"

    That would be the 80's, then

  25. Purlieu

    Revenue from Xmas greatest hits

    Actually, if they were all out of copyright, that would INCREASE the revenue since they wouldn't have to pay royalties

  26. juice Silver badge

    Feel the negativity!

    Wow. Some people are missing the point quite nicely.

    Purlieu, El Presidente, Anonymous: this is nothing at all to do with the "Freetards" you're trying to mock: I don't think anyone disagrees that creators should have the opportunity to benefit from their creations - if nothing else, it acts as an incentive for them to then create more work. The issue here is (at least) fivefold:

    1) New works are not going back into the creative commons for reuse by other people - and vast quantities of works are being "orphaned" - i.e. the ownership is unclear, but noone dares touch them in case they get sued.

    2) The extended copyright terms are reducing the incentive to create new works

    3) Very few creators benefit from the extended copyright terms - (ironically), it's generally only those which have already greatly profited from their creations

    4) Managing the extended copyright terms creates layers of self-propagating bureaucracy which costs money and creates nothing of worth

    5) Extended copyright terms make it easier for people to sue other people for perceived copyright infringement

    Conversely, reducing copyright terms would have the following advantages:

    1) Works could be reused while they're still culturally relevant, which could well benefit the original artist. For instance, the Northern Soul movement in the UK brought in new revenue for Motown artists who had failed to succeed in the USA; this happened because their records were basically treated as worthless and were being sold by weight from american warehouses. There's also the "keep calm and carry on" phenomena: millions of pounds of economic activity has been generated by a single, tatty, out-of-copyright poster found in a bookshop

    2) It encourages the original creator to produce new works *and* enables new work of cultural and economic value from other creators who build on that work. Pride and Prejudice is a good example of this: people have added zombies to the plot, or set the story in India. Dracula is another example: the (copyright infringing) Nosferatu added the concept of daylight being deadly to vampires, and there's been literally thousands of books, TV series, comics and films which have leaned heavily on Dracula and Nosferatu

    3) It actually leads to more creators receiving revenue, as it means there's a greater chance of their work being reused, in effect acting as free advertising. Again, see the Northern Soul phenomena

    4) Reducing costs and bureaucracy means that consumers can spend more money on activities which directly benefit creators, rather than going on red tape.

    5) It reduces costs for creators too, especially for complex projects such as songwriting, movies and TV shows, many of which often have to engage lawyers to fight off spurious copyright-infringement claims.

    So, to recap: a shorter copyright term (e.g. 20 years) would have little or no negative impact to the vast majority of creators and would potentially have signficantly positive benefits for a large subset of creators - both the original creators and the people who can then build on their work.

    Unfortunately, it's relatively easy for cynical corporations to hide behind rich, aging artists; it's even easier for them to drag out examples of impoverished aging artists (while simultaneously ignoring the fact that their creations obviously aren't returning any money at present; extending copyright terms isn't going to help that!). It's not as easy to sell the idea that more artists will actually earn more money if copyright terms are reduced...

    1. IPatentedItSoIOwnIt

      Someone buy that man a drink

      Just Bravo!

      1. El Presidente

        Buy that man a drink ?

        That post is so contradictory he's obviously had one too many. The confusion that poster exhibits between copyright and derivative works, for example, is very telling.

        And this: "Extended copyright terms make it easier for people to sue other people for perceived copyright infringement"

        No it does not. Copyright is either infringed or it is not. It's a binary thing, perception doesn't come into it. The method and ease/difficulty by which someone can be sued for infringement also remains unchanged.

        There is *no* grey area except in the mind of the freetard who thinks because someone placed something on the internet it somehow becomes 'free' and they can use it for free and in some extreme cases profit from it.

        What about this nonsense:

        "works are being "orphaned" - i.e. the ownership is unclear"

        No, works are not being orphaned and the acid test of ownership is simple. Is it mine ? No it's not therefore it belongs to someone else and I must do due diligence in finding out who that person is. If I can't find that person I must not use their work.

        It can't be any more simple than that.

        Creating another layer of bureaucracy to handle so called orphan works - in many cases works which can be identified if some effort is applied - will serve only to distance creators from their works and the end user which will, in turn act as a disincentive to the creator.

        Commissioning a creative is perceived as expensive but it usually turns out that that it's not as expensive as defending blatant copyright infringement and ignorance is no defence under the law.

        In my experience, and I have a fair bit, I haven't met one creative who's in favour of less protection for their work.

        Every person I'm aware of who is in favour of relaxation in copyright falls into three camps:

        1) they have a vested interest in making money from the work of others.

        2) They are a proponent of freetardism because they have grown up with the internet in their bedroom and, like, everything is free on the web, isn't it ?

        3) They are an academic who draws a fat salary every month and they want to be a bit edgy and perhaps secure funding for some more lame irrelevant 'research' so they come up with a contrarian opinion.

        Everyone does something for a living. When did it become offensive to be a musician, a photographer or a film maker ? Tarring the vast majority of people working in the creative industries with the U2/Sting/Madonna brush is a classic straw man approach as the vast majority of people working in the creative industries don't earn anything like the amounts made by those people and as a result would like to hold on to every penny they can.

        Much in the same way as most people don't just give away chunks of their salary every month to random passers by.

        1. juice Silver badge

          Hmm. Where to begin?

          "No it does not. Copyright is either infringed or it is not. It's a binary thing, perception doesn't come into it. The method and ease/difficulty by which someone can be sued for infringement also remains unchanged."

          In an ideal world, I'd agree with you. IN the real world, it's sadly easy to come up with examples of people being inappropriately sued for infringement. Such as:

          1) the Australian band Men At Work were successfully sued in 2010 for using a flute-riff in their 1983 hit which sounded similar to that used by a folk song written in 1935. Better yet, the author of the folk-song had died in 1988; the lawsuit was brought by a company who bought the rights to the song in 1990. So: they wrote their song 48 years after the original folk song was written and were sued 17 years later by some industry middleman who had bought the song rights 15 years earlier.

          2) Orion Pictures/James Cameron was sued by Harlan Ellison, as the 1984 film Terminator allegedly plagarised an episode of The Outer Limits (Soldier) he wrote in 1964. The two items take the "future soldiers travelling back through time" concept in radically different directions (Soldier does not involve robots, human extinction or the concept of using time travel as a weapon): Cameron is on record as calling Harlan an parasite.

          (interestingly, T2 is far closer to the plot of Soldier, which makes me wonder if perhaps Cameron deliberately did this to extract a small measure of revenge - I'm assuming the settlement for Terminator was a one-off fixed sum!)

          Fundamentally, there is only a limited number of plot devices: the longer copyright durations are, the greater the chance is that there will be a similar piece of prior art. And if your creation is profitable, the odds are good that someone will then try to sue you, even if there is a good chance they'll lose; as with patent trolls, people will often choose to settle rather than go through a costly court battle.

          ""works are being "orphaned" - i.e. the ownership is unclear"

          No, works are not being orphaned and the acid test of ownership is simple. Is it mine ? No it's not therefore it belongs to someone else and I must do due diligence in finding out who that person is."

          Funny - if it's so easy, then why does the UK and EU consider it to be such a major issue?

          Fundamentally, if the ownership of a work is unclear (and if it's passed through several corporations, the ownership rights can be very muddled - computer games have proven especially vulnerable to this), the cost of confirmation can be excessive.

          "Creating another layer of bureaucracy to handle so called orphan works - in many cases works which can be identified if some effort is applied - will serve only to distance creators from their works and the end user which will, in turn act as a disincentive to the creator."

          Who wants to create another layer of bureaucracy? The entire point of reducing copyright periods is that there will be fewer orphan works (as the age of the work is a significant factor in how likely it is to be an orphan), which in turn reduces the amount of due-diligence activity which is needed.

          "In my experience, and I have a fair bit, I haven't met one creative who's in favour of less protection for their work."

          It depends what you mean by less protection: there's certainly lots of people who are happy to release their work under a Creative Commons licence. Many choose to do so with a "non commercial" tag, but there's still plenty who do freely give away their work for any use whatsoever.

          (and I'd like to think I'm at least vaguely creative!)

          "Every person I'm aware of who is in favour of relaxation in copyright falls into three camps:"

          Sadly, I'm not in any of those camps. I have a full-time job in IT, and anything I create is released under a Creative Commons: Non Commercial licence. And when I've been asked for permission to use work in a low-value commercial context (video clips for DVDs, photos for magazines, etc), I've freely given permission with no strings - or royalty demands - attached.

          Now, you can argue that I can do that because I'm effectively supported by my "real" job. But there's many people who give away their work and still make a living - Jonathan Cauldwell (Still Alive) is a good example.

          "Tarring the vast majority of people working in the creative industries with the U2/Sting/Madonna brush is a classic straw man approach as the vast majority of people working in the creative industries don't earn anything like the amounts made by those people and as a result would like to hold on to every penny they can."

          To quote the article: 72% of the money from this copyright extension will go to the record labels. 24% will go to major-name artists. Only 4% will go to the "vast majority" of creative people you mention.

          In other words: they're getting virtually nothing, at a significant cost to the public, as well as the non-tangible impacts to the economy and culture. Is that really a system worth implementing?

          "Much in the same way as most people don't just give away chunks of their salary every month to random passers by."

          No... but they do give money to the government in the form of taxes, and this money is then (theoretically) used to benefit society as a whole: to a greater or lesser degree, it's used to maintain and develop transportation, health, education and infrastructure.

          And that's pretty much how I see shorter copyright terms: by pushing works back into the public domain earlier, the cost of producing (and defending) new works is reduced, which in turn allows more work to be created. And for 99% of people (i.e. everyone who's not U2/Sting/Madonna), it's a very small sacrifice which ends up benefitting the economy and society as a whole. The end result is more money for more people.

          Beyond that: there often seems to be a perception that once an item falls out of copyright, the original owner can no longer sell it. That's 100% not the case: they can still sell it - and they can add value to it (e.g. new mixes, remastered audio, extra media); it's just that other people can now sell it. For instance, it'd be interesting to see how much money Sony BMG are making on the Elvis albums which fell out of copyright back in 2007: I suspect they've seen little or no drop in sales, despite the increased competition...

          1. El Presidente

            [snip] Why does the UK and EU consider it to be such a major issue?

            Because Google say it is.

            The rest of your post is bluff and bluster. You work in IT and draw a salary. To coin a phrase: you don;t have a dog in this fight.

            You're entitled to your opinion but please don't pretend that in this instance your opinion is either informed correct because it demonstrably isn't.



            Have a read. That might leave you better informed which will leave you better able to compose a coherent response to serious matters, the consequences of which you have so far failed to grasp :)

            1. juice Silver badge

              Time to stop feeding the troll...

              Well, not just yet ;)

              1) "Because Google say it is". So, the British Library is being influenced by Google when they release a study indicating that up to 40% of all copyrighted material is in an orphaned state? For what it's worth, their study was released in September 2010 - two months before the government decided to quote Google as a factor in deciding to review copyright law.

              2) "You work in IT and draw a salary. To coin a phrase: you don;t have a dog in this fight."

              Wow. So: only people who *only* make money from creative works have any say? That would seem to exclude... oh, about 95% of people who produce creative works. Talk about elitist...

              Very few people make a full time living from creative works - the PRS's own figures show that (as of the year 2000) over 50% of UK music artists made less than £100 per year from their works; less than 3% made what could be considered a living wage (i.e. over £25,000). (

              (and there's also PRS fees (12.2%) and collection-agency fees (20% for royalties, up to 40% for further negotiations) to take into account. E.g.

              So: do none of those people have a say, either? Guess it's up to you and Cliff to decide how copyright should be managed - after all, I'm sure Cliff is interested in enriching and developing our national heritage and culture, not his bank account.

              3) is a UK-centric campaign to better protect the individual's rights. It says nothing about copyright duration: instead, it's focused on how to protect works while they're still copyrighted. Useplus is about a better photo-tagging system, which would be used to better track copyright claims. It says nothing about copyright duration; instead, it's focused on identifying the owner of a given work.

              All told, I'm not entire sure how those two websites are meant to leave me better informed...

              (and arguably: a shorter copyright term would make it easier - and cheaper - to identify if a work is no longer copyrighted. Which would make it easier to identify and pay individuals for their still copyrighted work, thereby helping the cause of stop43...)

              My entire point is that reducing copyright terms is good for society, good for the economy and good for creators as a whole. There will be fewer mega-rich people, instead the money will be more evenly distributed across the entire "creative" economy.

              Conversely, extending copyright terms results in is a small number of rich people/corporations holding onto copyrighted materials for decades and using those copyrights to sue creative people: the Men at Work example I provided above is just one of the more gregarious examples - as per above, they were sued by a subsidiary of Sony BMG, who had bought up the rights to a 70-year old folk song *after* the original creator had died.

              In truth, all they're doing in the long term is costing themselves - and everyone else - money: the only people who profit are the lawyers who handle the litigation; at best, you'll end up with something similar to the "patent warchest" system where major companies agree to not litigate against each other (screwing everyone else in the process)...

              1. El Presidente

                My entire point ...

                Your entire point appears to be as confused as it is long-winded and it seems to be based on the politics of envy and the hatred of successful business models.

                Your points *support* those groups I've identified as being in cat 1) who are bad for creatives.

                You are *firmly* in cat 2) which is bad for creatives.

                You present unsubstantiated c'n'p stats as fact and use bluff and bluster from people in cat 3) to back up your argument.

                All this while breaking almost every rule in how to comprehensively fail in an online discussion.


                Which would suggest that you don't work in IT and if you do you haven't done so for very long.

                "All told, I'm not entire sure how those two websites are meant to leave me better informed..."

                I'm at a loss to think what, if anything, would. Perhaps you do have a dog in this fight.

                Maybe you have 1bn reasons to defend the source of the article, so vociferously, and backed up with so much research. Just a thought. I'll leave it to others to decide if my hunch is right.......


                1. juice Silver badge

                  One more time ;)

                  Your "category 1" is "people who have a vested interest in making money from the work of others"

                  How does reducing copyright help this? The main abusers of copyright are the corporations who buy up copyrights and then sue other people for infringement, as per the Men at Work example. Reducing copyright terms reduces their ability to do this and gives individual creators more freedom to create new works.

                  Your "category 2" is "proponent of freetardism because they have grown up with the internet in their bedroom and, like, everything is free on the web, isn't it ?"

                  Given that I've explicitly declared that I believe creators should have the opportunity to profit from their work, how do I fall into this category? The issue is that a blanket extension of copyright terms affects everyone and only benefits a few. I pay for my media, through amazon, emusic, and more: my concern is absolutely not about "freetardism".

                  "unsubstantiated c'n'p facts": which facts are these? The Men at Work debacle is clearly documented; the British Library's study is freely available for review; the PRS figures came directly from the PRS. If you can point me to an unsubstantiated claim, I'll be happy to dig out the details for it. The only thing that comes close is my stated belief that relaxed copyright laws produce greater benefit for society and creators - and even then, I've provided examples (Keep Calm and Carry On, Northern Soul) of where limited copyright (and/or the bypassing of copyright) has led to cultural and economic benefit, both for society and the original creator.

                  And I can easily dig out several more: Charles Dickens was able to undertake several very highly profitable tours of the USA, thanks to piracy of his books. The American industrial revolution, the 18th century European printing revolution, the current growth of the Chinese economy: all of these were only possible due to people refusing to obey industrial trade secret and copyright laws.

                  Internet rules: I haven't invoked Godwin's law, I haven't breached Poe's Law, Rule 34 isn't in effect (though I'm sure I could find some photoshopped pictures of Cliff if you're really that interested); Skitts, Scopies, Danths... in fact, with the possible exception of DeMyers, I think I'm clear on all of those - and even then, I've provided references rather than block pasting quotations. Are you sure you've been debating online long?

                  The websites both revolved around defending copyright while the work is still in copyright. My concern is about the duration of copyright. These are related but different things - to (ab)use the usual car analogy, I'm talking about the extended 5-year warranty while they're talking about the annual servicing. If you want to change my mind, point me to a study which shows that extended copyright terms are actually better for the economy and society as a whole, rather than a small group of super-rich artists and the corporations which support them.

                  As to having a dog in this fight: yes, I do. I believe that extended copyright terms (and the potential for abuse that comes with them) is bad for society and the economy as a whole, and I believe it's important enough to be worth fighting for and debating. And while I'm sorry that you've chosen to disbelieve me, I've been fully open on my role in the creative industry: I freely admit it's a small one, but it's still there and I've put my money where my mouth is, in the shape of declaring all of my works to be CC:NC and/or open source under the GNU public licence.

                  1. El Presidente

                    Seventy Two Considered Reasonings Why Martin Is Wrong


                    "I've put my money where my mouth is"

                    So, to recap, no /money/ involved yet the money/mouth imbalance prevails ?

                    "in the shape of declaring all of my works to be CC:NC and/or open source under the GNU public licence.

                    All your works. No money involved.

                    1. juice Silver badge

                      @El Presidente

                      Y'know.. posting a link to 72 parlimentary submissions by various special interest groups isn't really providing a clear example of how strong copyright benefits benefit society and the economy. In fact, I'd suggest it's a breach of DeMyer's law (excessive quoting), which means you automatically lose the argument ;)

                      Beyond that, while I haven't read them all - I've no intention of performing your research for you - it's pretty clear that few - if any - are concerned with copyright extension. F'instance, the British Video association is only concerned with the impact of allowing format shifting and the British Beer and Pub association (which is a consumer, not a creator) is only interested in performance royalty management.

                      "So, to recap, no /money/ involved yet the money/mouth imbalance prevails ?"

                      I'm not sure if you're deliberately missing the point (and you've clearly decided to ignore all the other points I've provided rebuttals for), but to repeat: I believe that people should have the opportunity to profit from their works *and* that there is greater cultural and economic benefit from sharing creative works. Given that my work is generally low-value, I've therefore decided to freely give it away, in the hope that other people will then build on it to create new works of increased economic and cultural value.

                      (and if by a miracle, I do someday create a high-value work, I'll be happy to release it to the public domain once I've had my opportunity to profit from it. And that could even generate more revenue for me - releasing older works for free has worked really well for the authors over at Baen/

                      Now, they might not - and in truth, I'd be surprised if more than 0.1% of what I create gets reused. But at least the opportunity is there, which is more than could be said if I'd kept it all locked away!

                      Is that really so hard to understand?

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  @El Presidente

                  You're the one who sounds like you've got "a dog in the fight", to use your term.

                  Just interested: Which publishing company do you work for? or which industry if you don't want to be specific?

                  I don't think it's the music business as you don't appear to know anything about how that operates, but you really sound like you work in some kind of a publishing company.

                  The only entities who will win by extending copyright terms are publishing companies, particularly record companies. Everybody else loses, including artists.

                  I think Sir Cliff and the undead Beatles are the only musicians who stand to gain anything from this, and even they won't get much.

                  Probably some authors might as well, though those deals tend to be even worse.

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          @ El Presidente

          "Everyone does something for a living. When did it become offensive to be a musician, a photographer or a film maker ?"

          I work for a living, but I don't expect the work I do today to be supporting me when I'm seventy, asides from money stuck in the pension fund. Think about it, *most* people who work (even those who 'create' stuff) get paid either a flat wage for their work, and maybe a profit cut if their work does good things. But then they go and work/create more. They don't have one good idea and then attempt to milk it for all eternity.

          That said, I think this is more the labels worrying over 60s classics than the actual content creators. The only way this could be considered fair is if copyright expired two years after the death of the creator (two years to permit the labels to benefit from a last "ultimate hits collection" CD).

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @ El Presidente

          "1) they have a vested interest in making money from the work of others."

          Got it in 1). Well done you.

          This is what record labels do, not artists.

  27. trydk

    Let's get this straight

    I know I am singing to the chorus and preaching to the converts and what not, but I just cannot help myself anymore.

    Can somebody *please* explain to me, how important it is for the development of *new* art to have this extension? In plain English too, please!

    In what other profession are you guaranteed an income from your work in what is basically the rest of your lifetime? None, to my knowledge.

    When it comes to *creating* new art, I do not think it really matters much to the artist whether the copyright is 20 years, 50 years or 70 years. Few artists work that way and to be honest, how many (budding) artists are generally recognised 10 or more years later? Joshuan Kadison? Vanessa Carlton? F. R. David? Thought so.

    I'll just step down, dust my soapbox off and trot home now.

    1. JimC

      >In what other profession

      >In what other profession are you guaranteed an income from your work in

      > what is basically the rest of your lifetime? None, to my knowledge.

      Anyone who holds shares in a business? Anyone who rents a house out? Anyone who puts some of their income into a pension fund?

      The payment model for creative work is pretty lousy and often very unfair to the creator, but no-ones yet come up with a better one. Most other industries you get paid up front for your work because that's when it earns. In music especially of the creative industries the money trickles in, sometimes over many years and no-one knows what its going to earn until its actually earned it. A plumber gets paid for the job and its the going rate. What should the going rate for a piece of music be? Should it be the same for a recording that ends up selling 50 million as one that sells 50? If so how's the money going to get divvied up? That would need bloody great corporations, and the people who come up with the stuff that sells 50 million are going to be pretty upset...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How wrong could you be...

        When you by shares you are investing in the company by providing funds for there use in whatever why they need. You get paid dividends for the loan of your assets just like banks get interest, the difference is that the return is directly proportional to the success of the company.

        When you rent out a house you have to privide services; maintain the property and take the risks of people damaging your property. You are getting the money for for that the instant you stop renting it the income stops. Also its not the builder/construction company who get the money for ever because he built that house, its the owner with a one off asset. Its not like you can buy a 30p DVD and create another house to live in.

        In entertainment there are some differences I'l grant you, but keeping the copyright to a reasonable level makes for a better and fairer system. I think most would argue 20 years is plenty and for many areas 10 would be better.

        Even most artists only get paid once, as they do each and every show in thearters and clubs, when they stop working and they don't get paid.

        Your example of a plumber shows the difference in another way; when he spends a day installing/replacing some pipe work he get paid once, but it's not like he can simply dumplicate the with no effort to sell it again, and he certainly cannot take another plumber to court because he used the same thickness in pipe of make of U-bend.

      2. trydk

        Re. In what other profession

        @JimC: I think you missed my point slightly. When I mention "profession", I mean other, more or less creative, jobs, like secretaries, plumbers, doctors, salarymen, ... Shares in a business and renting a house out is not exactly a profession by my standard (Cambridge dictionary on profession: any type of work which needs special training or a particular skill ...) Investing in a business is hardly the same, as you lend the business some money and expect some dividend in return. When renting out a house, you give up a tangible asset (the house) to somebody for a consideration (the rent). Investing in a pension fund, you give up an asset (your money, just like investing in a business) and expect a dividend in return.

        Nobody stops artists from investing in a business or a pension fund or renting out property, just like us other mortals.

        Think about the "good old days" of geniuses like Mozart and Beethoven, they did not earn a thing from other people performing their music, they were, to some extent, salaried by people like Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus Colloredo (Mozart) or under patronage from people like Archduke Rudolph (Beethoven). Mozart was more or less destitute a few times from lack of employment.

        I do not mind artists earning money from a reasonable copyright term, neither do I envy their income from concerts and such, but I cannot see the reason behind their children and grandchildren getting a direct income from the artist's copyrighted work without having to lift a finger or invest in one way or another.

        And I definitely cannot see still, how a longer copyright term spurs more creative innovation -- and that *is* the stated purpose of copyright ... or did I miss something there?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "The payment model for creative work is pretty lousy and often very unfair to the creator, but no-ones yet come up with a better one."

        OK then, here's a better one: pay the creator not their pimp.

  28. Mike Richards Silver badge


    Interesting that Sweden voted against the extension when it is one of the few EU countries whose music business earns more through exports than is spent on imported content.

  29. DV Henkel-Wallace

    Cheaper solution

    I feel sorry for the poor lambs that may "face an income gap at the end of their lifetimes." Wouldn't it be cheaper to teach them to save their money when young rather than trash hotel rooms?

  30. Turtle


    I have thought about this issue quite a bit and I have come to the conclusion that there is no reason why copyrights should *ever* expire, simply because I can see no valid reason for anyone to be *entitled* to access to anyone else's work. And certainly there is no reason why tech companies such as Google should be the inheritors of the cultural wealth of the entire human race, to be put on the web, for the sake of plastering it with advertising. I would not be surprised it it was the case that anyone able to contemplate such a situation without a feeling of profound contempt and disgust for these parasitic tech companies, is not be capable of benefiting from any cultural works in any meaningful way - except in the case that they are able to use them for their monetary advantage.

    1. Goat Jam

      "there is no reason why copyrights should *ever* expire"

      So, who do we send the cheque to for copy of "The Odyssey" I have on my bookshelf?

      Homer doesn't seem to be answering any calls these days.

      1. Turtle


        Send it to Unicef.

        1. Goat Jam


          So they own the copyright to Homers Odyssey do they?

          Hint: I can send money to Unicef without needing any extension of copyright

  31. Oldfogey

    Breaking a Contract

    Copyright, like all other forms of IP, is a deal made between the creator of the item and society generally. The purpose of this deal is to enable the creator to benefit financially from their work, this encouraging them to create.

    The deal was clear; you have 50 years to make your money and after that society recieves the rights for general use.

    That deal has now been retrospectively changed, and I consider this not acceptable. Any extension should only be applied to new works.

    Frankly I see no moral reason to respect the further 20 years, and very little to respect the first 50 either, in view of the attitudes shown by this legalised theft.

  32. Goat Jam

    To All Those Pro Copyright Numpties

    Just how long exactly do you think that corporations should be able to hold our collective cultural heritage hostage and sell it back to us?

    50 years? 70 years? 100 years? Do you think that the collected works of Shakespeare should be copyright (c) Sony Corp?

    The original Statute Of Anne gave content producers a 7 year monopoly (with an optional 7 years for 14 years total) on their works. This was granted in exchange for those works becoming public domain at the end of that period.

    It was a lot like the patent system.

    This more than reasonable arrangement has, predictably, been whittled away to the benefit of corporations (not the content producers) to the point that now it is quite common to pay for content that was produced by a person who is long since dead.

    How long should we be expected to continue to pay corporate shysters for work that was produced by dead people?

    Every time the copyright on cultural classics such as the Beatles and the early Disney films run short we see the same thing, big corporates pushing to have copyrights extended "just a little bit more".

    When does it stop? Ever? Will we be paying Disney for the rights to watch Fantasia for the rest of time?

    Is enough ever going to be enough?

    "If you try to extend copyright beyond what is required and reasonable it only undermines respect for copyright"

    The Prof is right. I lost respect for the copyright cartels long ago. Musically, virtually nothing I listen to was produced in the last 30 years and I'll be damned if I'll pay royalties to some coke snorting record execs for stuff that was produced by dead dudes.

    Long live bittorrent I say.

  33. asdf

    but wont you think of the children and mickey mouse

    Come on don't be a total corporate pansy like the US government and stand up just a little for the public interest. Eternal copyright to make sure the steamboat willie empire never crumbles is horse sh_t. Copyright was never meant to reward your great great grand kids for winning the lottery of birth.

  34. Dick Emery

    The job of every company is to keep the money flowing into 'their' pockets and not into anybody elses whether it be for the greater good or not. That's capitalism for you. The copyrite should ALWAYS remain with the creator until their death and even then may be passed on to their relatives. The problem comes from the shitty contracts artists are required to sign in order to get their material out there. The record companies take away the artists right to take their wares to another company for a very very long time indeed. Really the shoe should be on the other foot. The companies should only own the right to reproduce such works for a limited period where they can reasonably expect some profit to be made. If a work does not make any profit during that period the right to take it elsewhere where it may make a profit should fall back to the artist. See why some artists have taken the record companies to court over this very issue.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is kind of corporatist abuse is why I stopped buying most media.

    P2P their retarded revenue stream to nothing!

    Most media is still far too expensive, most of the 'reasons' for high production cost are BS, especially for later production runs. If backers and performers want more revenue, then sell for a sensible cost, provide better content, and stop all regional BS. If they don't save for later, tough.

    An media artist or business should have very limited protection after the copyright of a significant work has expired and even have copyright protection voided if revision copyright claims are based on 'tricks' or contain new 'mistakes'.

    Personally I think all IP concepts are BS; if people are not willing to pay for content after it is in the public, tough, provided that no physical theft was involved. At most, any protection should only be enough to cover the initial publishing/production runs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And in ten years time I'll bet you'll be bitching about how there's no decent music available these days, and nothing worth watching on TV/VoD. Look up the difference between parasites & symbiotes, and enjoy your parasitism while you can.

      1. Goat Jam

        Modern Music?

        There is no decent big label modern music *now*.

        If you consider the warblings of American Idol "winners" to be decent music then I pity you.

    2. Richard 12 Silver badge

      @AC This is kind of corporatist abuse...

      Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!

      Copyright and other forms of IP protection are very important.

      If we eliminate copyright entirely, then the only way to support full-time artists is patronage - thus the only artwork available becomes 'whatever some rich guy likes', or things done by people in their spare time.

      Even worse than that, for a lot of those 'amateur' creatives the 'payment' is recognition that they made something. Take away copyright, and that recognition vanishes - so they won't bother. How would you feel if nobody credited you for the creative works you have made?

      Patents exist because without them, an inventor is better off if they can keep their invention totally secret. If they get hit by the proverbial bus, the invention is lost. Patenting puts the information into a public document, while offering the inventor a period where they have the right to protect their invention from unauthorised usage.

      The problem is that most forms of IP protection have been massively abused for years.

      One effect of this is obviously to erode the respect people have for the basic ideas of IP protection - for example you appear to have lost almost all the respect you may have previously had.

      The maxim "Abuse it and you'll lose it" is a much more general idea than a lot of corporations appear to realise.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a Content Provider

    I'd like to be a content provider, just to my friends & if a few other people see it, that's great. What I produce probably wouldn't make any money & I wouldn't expect it to. If it did become Viral & start producing an income stream I'd have no problem with people who directly inspired me or who's content I mashed up for my use getting paid for it. I tried. I used a 50 year old piece of film and a 35 year old piece of music, synced them together to prove a point on an IN joke with some friends. It took 5 minutes before it was removed from Facebook for copy write infringement. Now, I have an idea I don't bother however original it's RE-CONCEPTION is. I'm pretty much sure there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that could but don't produce content like me because we know we're just going to have it removed. We don't want to search for each artist or copy write holder, we don't want to be limited to being able to use this version but not that version of something. we don't want to have to pay yearly subscriptions to several faceless organisations for something we may or may not use just in case we do. We just want to use what's out there and add our spin to it without any hassle. It may create something new and different, it may be quite boring and forgetful. The fact is if we do today, without the back-up of media law savvy lawyers the only way we can is by going outside the law. If we want these things shown or listened to by our friends and peer groups then we have to use channels which circumvent those laws. Most people can't be bothered or just plain don't want to break the law, even if they disagree with it to an extent. I think that is stifling creativity. The fact that I can't listen to old Hip Hop tracks from the eighties because they used unregistered samples from seventies albums & the record companies stamped out the practice. that has stifled creativity. The fact some of my mate's (all talented musicians IMO) are on dodgy ground if they play their arrangement of a popular song in a Pub (and god help the place if it hasn't got a licence for them to twang their guitars.) That's stifling Creativity.

    Creativity and culture and NOW is all I'm interested in. Yes Pay the artist for something THEY have created. Yes, find a way where if a lot of money is being made then the revenue goes to the CREATOR however old they are. NO to the grandkids getting anything, let them make their own way in life. NO to corporations holding everyone else to ransom for something they had nothing to do with creating. I'm sure there will be some more intelligent, copy write informed, experienced debater who will shoot me down and dissect my comments to show how clever they are and how stupid and ill informed I am. I don't care. If you are going to extend any copy write past the death of an artist or collaborator in the work then screw it make copy write 1000 years I say. Europe, Africa & Asia can then sue Hollywood & the big music companies for 99.9 percent of the stuff they have produced in the last hundred years including all the Disney stuff that rework old fairy tales & every song that's used a beat previously drummed out in Central Congo or on a slave plantation.

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