I'm pleased to announce today the launch of a Europe-wide campaign against the extension of copyright term. Thanks to ORG volunteers, and some very nice people I met at FOSDEM, the new campaign site - soundcopyright.eu - is available in English, French and German.
Please visit the site, and sign the petition.
The recording industry has been lobbying for copyright term extension in sound recordings for many years. In the UK, the Government commissioned an independent study to examine whether term extension was a good idea for the UK creative economy. The review found that all the evidence pointed against extending term, and based on this, the UK government rejected the recording industry's call for an extension.
Now the recording industry has taken its fight to Europe, and it looks like they're winning - Commissioner Charlie McCreevy announced in February that he intends to extend the copyright term in sound recordings from 50 to 95 years. This is surprising, since the Commissioner's own Internal Market Directorate have also published evidence that shows that the arguments in favour of extending term lacked substance, especially compared to the reasons for maintaining the status quo.
If you care about this issue, please sign our petition, which states simply:
The following individuals state their opposition to a copyright term extension for sound recordings.
We ask the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to ensure that policy in this area reflects all concerned stakeholders, including consumer and public interest organisations, and not just the commercial rights-holders who advocate for extended copyright term.
It's time for European citizens to get their voices heard in this debate. Back in 2006, over 1,000 people signed ORG's petition asking the UK government to reject term extension - and it worked. We want ten times that many to sign this new Europe-wide petition. So please, tell as many people as you can about our campaign to stop copyright term extension in Europe. We'll use your support to lobby individual Commissioners, and to ensure that this misguided policy is rejected.
Together, we will stop copyright term extension.