July 16, 2008 |

EU Commission proposes copyright term extension and ignores all the evidence

Disregarding the evidence-based findings of their own advisors, the UK government's independent analysis, and those of Europe's leading intellectual property research centres, the EU Commission has formally accepted DG Internal Market's proposal to extend the duration of copyright protection for sound recordings.

Copyright term is a quid pro quo, designed to balance the interests of consumers and creators. Confusing this with contractual issues and pension schemes while ignoring the evidence gives Europeans a raw deal. Europe's citizens are entitled to more than a privatised cultural heritage. Recent evidence such as DG Internal Market's own review of the Database Directive 2005, has confirmed that granting further intellectual property rights without a proper basis delivers no real benefit to the competitiveness of the EU.

While granting unending intellectual property rights may sound good, a fair and balanced approach means that legislators must avoid dismissing economic rationale and the traps of faith based policy and voodoo economics that simply grant IP rightsholders requests for more. Adhering to the same standards that environmental and pharmaceutical regulation are held to is essential, because the significant losers will not simply be consumers, but also voters.

Following its adoption the proposal will proceed to the Council of Ministers and to the European Parliament. Please show your support and sign our petition as we continue to oppose term extension.

Comments (12)

  1. Tom Crirrick:
    Mar 01, 2009 at 04:25 PM

    It just dawned onmme to check the figures quoted by Mr Pettigrew for PRS costs - they are in fact 18.2% IN 2007 Annual Report - not 20% - 1.8% may not sweem a lot but translates to about £2million less than suggested

    As a copyright owner I would be happy to receive 82% of anything than 0%

  2. roy pettigrew:
    Feb 21, 2009 at 06:25 PM

    If. Mr Crirrick was a real person then I would appreciate his comments.I have been actively involved in the creative industries all my life as have all my family, the facts are that PRS members see 20 % of their royalties spent on administration,The society is a super monopoly top heavy in favour of the publisher not the creator,and due to unfair sampling. minority artists such as mr Crirrick receive peppercorn payments. As a result of years lobbying and campaigning copyright reform is now ongoing and a copyright watchdog imminent, hopefully this will result in a fair, honest and transparent collection system, ultimately benefitting mr crirrick and not the executive fat cats .

  3. Tom Crirrick:
    Mar 01, 2009 at 04:16 PM

    Being involved in the creative industries does not mean that you benefit from payments through any of the copyright collecting systems. The system works for me, I receive what I think is a fair return for the use of my copyright works that I would otherwise not have a chance to collect myself. I don'tknow how mr Pettigrew would suggest I would receive more - that could only come from detailed and expensive sampling and reporting of use. It has always been a swings and roundabouts system and I can't see how it would work better - I believe we have amongst the best systems - if not the best in the world.

    Does/has Mr pettigrew ever received any payment from any copyright collecting organisation ? it would possibly appear not - is that because his works are even less popular than my own? or that he is not a 'creator' merely a user of others works?

    A Copyright watchdog makes me feel sick to the bottom of my stomach - we have one of them for the financial industry - that worked well, we have one for transport - tried using trains in SE England? etc etc etc Possibly Mr pettigrew believes it is better to spend public money to 'protect my intrests' than spend my money - in any case we have a copright watchdog - the tribunal which appears to have worked for both sides for many years. I see no sign of any such new watchdog on the horizon.

    Just what is Mr pettigrews problem with PRS (not my area of rights)? it all appears very personal and extreme - as Ralph says 'it appears to be hatred of the creators that drives you'. It is possibly time Mr pettigrew got into the real world. If he is a PRS member - as he appears to suggest he is - why not stand for election to their board or whatever and make his changes from within - I undesrsatnd the authors/composers elect a % of the PRS board - could it be he would not appear as a reasonable candidate.

    What he forgets is that there is nothing in UK or European law to prevent him from exploiting his own copyrights works, he does not have to use PRS or anything else if he diesn't like the system. He can seel/rent etc his rights to whomsoever he wishes, use creative commons as I do for some of my works, or simply let the world do as it will with his works - why all the PRS bashing?

  4. Comissão Europeia decidida a apoiar os artistas para além da morte | Remixtures:
    Jul 17, 2008 at 12:01 AM

    [...] autor sobrevivente, quer seja o autor das letras ou o compositor da música.” De acordo com o Open Rights Group, a proposta irá agora seguir para o Conselho de Ministros da UE e para o Parlamento Europeu, por [...]

  5. Ralph:
    Dec 14, 2008 at 05:47 AM

    Why does this organization believe that what other people create is yours? Even after 50 years, it is not yours morally, but only becomes so because of arbitrary law.

    You have no claim to the creativity of others... and it appears to be hatred of the creators that drives you.

    If I invented a miracle drug for cancer, but would only release it to the world if I would obtain perpetual rights and royalties, you would undoubtedly say "that's not fair... your creation is the world's"... and I would undoubtedly shrug and promptly burn the formula.

  6. The Open Rights Group : Blog Archive » Commission adviser accuses Barroso of intentionally misleading European policy-makers and citizens on copyright:
    Aug 21, 2008 at 06:00 PM

    [...] locking away vast swathes of our cultural heritage in a commercial vaccuum for 45 years, it was clear that they had rejected all the expert evidence in favour of voodoo [...]

  7. Dynamo_ace:
    Jul 19, 2008 at 12:54 AM

    I wonder, why did DG Internal Market decided to go against all there research 3 years ago?

  8. Against sound recording copyright extension - Jonathan Rawle’s Website:
    Jul 18, 2008 at 08:51 PM

    [...] EU Commission is proposing an extension to copyright on sound recordings, the same idea having been rejected by the UK government last year. At present, copyright on a [...]

  9. Iain Sharp:
    Jul 27, 2008 at 08:55 PM

    This is a terrible development. Please fight it hard!

  10. roy pettigrew:
    Aug 28, 2008 at 12:20 AM

    What is required is copyright reform.organisations such as cla prs mcps ppl etc charge our children for the use of copyright material in an educational non profit making environments and as a result educators are deprived of cutting edge inspirational material.They also divert funds away from vital areas and take up hours of educators time with programme returns and re assessments.
    Why is there no copyright watchdog?()Yes there is the copyright commission but this is for licensees of the above organisations to take their grievances to }
    Having worked for the prs I was able to experience first hand the corruption,mismanagement,squandering of members money on failed million pound schemes(remember PROMS anyone, the failed regionalisation office openings(a few more millions) , the board of directors being lied to by senior management(mmc enquiry scottish office manager sacked for gross misconduct and then provided with a glowing reference to take up a job with the CLA(men with aprons and funny handshakes)and the theft of intellectual property within the organisation by devious and shallow men,if the process of copyright collection was done in a fair and transparent manner then there would be no need to extend the term of copyright as the creator would benefit from a larger slice of the pie without the leeches and self interest brigade who unfortunately inhabit ivory towers.
    Please note that all information in this blog is true and can be substantiated should anone require further information and its not voodoo but freemasonry.

  11. Tom Crirrick:
    Sep 05, 2008 at 06:44 PM

    Whilst appreciating that Copyright in the UK is not perfect it does work for the small creator. I don't earn a great sum from my payments - I don't expect to as my material has a very small specialist market, but royalties do come to me from various parts of the world - payments that I would never have been able to collect myself.

    No system is perfect, but my experience in life is that we need sensible and constructive agrument to make changes, not ramblingsm and near ravings such as Mr Petigrew has propounded. I am afraid that there is not an official body in the world that will take such statements seriously, he damages the cause of copyright evolution more than he knows.

    I don't know if he is a creator - I suspect not, but please don't destroy what i have because it is one of your hobby horses.

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