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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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Freetards

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

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Holmes

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

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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....

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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.

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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.

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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...

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

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

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

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

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

Oh no wait, they don't.

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Ru

Build a more entertaining chair

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

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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.

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*some* performers

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

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

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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.

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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?

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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 http://imslp.org/.

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@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)

http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Help:Copyright_Issues_FAQ

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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....

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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.

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Devil

Winehouse effect

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

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

Inheritance

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.

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

Story of my life.....

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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?

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Cool

Another law that's irrelevant to anything.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Actually it doesn't "cost €1bn"

But then it's Martin Kretschmer.

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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.

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FAIL

@James

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!

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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.

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Futurama

@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?

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Anonymous Coward

"Artists lifetime only"

Take for example, Gram Parsons who sadly died 38 years ago yesterday. Millions of people have only heard, and enjoyed his work, myself included since his untimely death.

Without revenue from copyright, what incentive is there to publish such works after someone's death, depriving a lot of people a lot of pleasure, to this day, from such work.

Hardly copmparable to the maker ( in all probability a machine ) of this IKEA chair i am sat upon.

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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.

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"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

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Will benefit the label rather than the artist

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

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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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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@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.

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EVERYONE POSTING HERE IS NOW OUT OF A JOB

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.

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@ 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.

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Anonymous Coward

Rejoice!

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

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FAIL

Whaa

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.

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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.

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