UK Copyright Not Extended

This is great news. Unlike in the States, where our government has ignored the intent of our Founding Fathers and continued to extend copyright indefinitely, over in the United Kingdom where copyright currently expires after 50 years, an independent review is recommending that the terms are not extended to 95 years, much to the dismay of Cliff Richard and the British Phonographic Industry who have been battling for the extension.

Get prepared for a flood of cheapo imports of all your favorite 50s music!

Via bb.

8 thoughts on “UK Copyright Not Extended”

  1. While I am theoretically in favor of this sort of thing, especially regarding copyrights held by corporations, I wonder if this means that EMI can release remastered Beatles recordings without passing down the profit to the songwriters? Sure, they wouldn’t hold exclusivity over the material anymore (and that’s a good thing) but they are still the label of record for the Beatles and have the most backlogged material so they hold an advantage over anybody else releasing Beatle comps. So can they do that and not pass on the profits?

  2. Or is that the difference between copyright and publishing? Will labels still need to pay publishing fees on works where the songwriter is still living? Maybe that’s the difference?

  3. As far as I understand it, any label can release stuff that’s in the public domain without passing along royalties. If Ringo’s hurting for money, he can release a Beatles comp on his own label!

    The copyright holders have been making money on this stuff for 50 years. The popular artists have made plenty of money already, and the unpopular artists weren’t making any money anyhow.

    So at least we’ll be able to buy 6-disc boxes from JSP Records for $30. I can’t wait!

    And think of all the weird, obscure, niche stuff that will get the Rhino treatment…

  4. Oh, absolutely. Again, I’m all for limiting copyright. I was just wondering if that meant EMI could release deluxe boxsets forever and never again have to pass on the profits to the artists who recorded the music–be they Beatles or otehrwise.

  5. What am I missing here? Why are creative people held to a different standard than say, car manufacturers? In other words, when was the last time you heard “Hey, Ford’s made plenty of money on the automobile patent, they should give it up now”? Never, right? So, why should songwriters be victims of this unjust standard? Record companies wanna rip you off and the public just wants your shit for free. Enough, already! Jeez…

  6. Kiko, what you’re missing is some basic knowledge about copyright and patent law. Patents are different from copyrights. In fact, patents expire after only 20 years:

    “The term of the patent shall be generally 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in the United States…. A maintenance fee is due 3 1/2, 7 1/2 and 11 1/2 years after the original grant for all patents issuing from the applications filed on and after December 12, 1980. The maintenance fee must be paid at the stipulated times to maintain the patent in force. After the patent has expired anyone may make, use, offer for sale, or sell or import the invention without permission of the patentee, provided that matter covered by other unexpired patents is not used. The terms may be extended for certain pharmaceuticals and for certain circumstances as provided by law.”

    I wish copyright law was the same as patent law! We’d all be a lot better off!

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