Copyright extended to 70 years
(The Generator) The Council of the European Union has agreed to extend the copyright term in the UK from 50 to 70 years from the release of a recording.
This means that artists from the 1960’s and 70’s such as Cliff Richard and The Beatles will retain the rights to their early recordings.
BPI Chief Executive Geoff Taylor said: “This important decision comes not a moment too soon. An exceptional period of British musical genius was about to lose its protection. As a matter of principle, it is right that our musicians should benefit from their creativity during their lifetimes, and that they should not be disadvantaged compared to musicians in other countries”.
Trade organisations such as the BPI, the Musician’s Union and UK Music have been campaigning for some time for musician’s rights to be brought in line with authors and composers.
The UK Government has backed the notion since 2008, with the European Parliament pushing the motion through in 2009 and the Hungarian President accepting a vote on extension during April this year but the final piece of the puzzle was the assent of the Council of Ministers, voted through on Monday (12 September).
Welcoming the news, PPL Chairman and CEO Fran Nevrkla said: “This is a tremendous development and we must recognise the goodwill of the politicians in Britain and other parts of Europe who understood that this key change in the copyright legislation was long overdue”.
Alongside the extension, other changes include a fund for session musicians and a ‘use it or lose it’ clause, allowing copyright to return to the performers if not used by record companies in addition to mechanisms for un-recouped advances to be written off.