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.