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Sound Copyright

The Open Rights Group and many other organisations believe that further extending the length of time copyright protection is applied to music and other sound recordings only benefits a narrow group of rights holders.

Any increase in the length of copyright protection would harm the public interest by restricting access to our cultural heritage, for example by making it harder to reissue archive materials.

Right holders often claim that copyright protection is necessary to support future creativity and pay artists. This is largely a myth. Benefits to artists are typically an illusion, because the record companies who hold their onerous contracts retain most of the royalties generated by copyright protection.

Instead, copyright reform should depend on a rigorous analysis of the available evidence. Where the evidence is inconclusive or no evidence is available, caution should be the default position. In this case, the evidence clearly demonstrates that copyright term extension should not be voted through.

Our campaign for evidence-based copyright protection has involved direct lobbying of officials in Westminster and the EU, submissions to a range of Government consultations as well as significant press coverage resulting from our evidence-based briefing pack for journalists (PDF).

One of our most effective actions mobilised our supporters and the public to attend a conference held inside the European Parliament and share the animation below with their MEPs to tell them why the proposal should be rejected.