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Term extension: a cultural disaster

Reacting to the news that the EU Council has approved extension of the term of copyright in sound recordings from 50 to 70 years, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

"Term extension is a cultural disaster. It means that it will be harder to publish older works, and many will remain out of print. EU research shows that around 90% of the cash windfall from copyright levies will fall into the hands of record labels. Despite the rhetoric, small artists will gain very little from this, while our cultural heritage takes a massive blow by denying us full access to these recordings for another generation.

"The campaign against term extension showed that copyright policy can no longer be a deal done in darkened rooms: the public has a strong interest in the cultural impact of excessive copyright and damaging restrictions. ORG would like to thank everyone who helped throughout the campaign."

The Open Rights Group ran a strong campaign against term extension, with around 15,000 EU citizens signing the Sound Copyright petition against term extension. This helped reduce the proposal from 95 to 70 years and delayed its passing, as many small countries realised they were liable to export capital to US-based companies for no real gain.