June 18, 2008 |

Term Extension "will damage Commission's reputation", top legal advisers tell Barroso

Today, the leading European centres for intellectual property research have released a joint letter to EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, enclosing an impact assessment detailing the far-reaching and negative effects of the proposal to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings. With the confusion and disillusionment of Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty still ringing in the Commission's ears, the letter states:

"This Copyright Extension Directive, proposed by Commissioner McCreevy, is likely to damage seriously the reputation of the Commission. It is a spectacular kowtow to one single special interest group: the multinational recording industry (Universal, Sony/BMG, Warner and EMI) hiding behind the rhetoric of "aging performing artists".

"The Commission is required to conduct an impact study for each directive it proposes. We, the leading European centres for intellectual property policy research, have collectively reviewed the empirical evidence. Our findings are unanimous. The proposed Copyright Extension Directive will damage European creative endeavour and innovation beyond repair."

Read the letter and impact assessment in full. Further details are available from the Centre for Intellectual Property and Management.

Comments (5)

  1. Boycott Novell » Snapshot of the Software Patents Situation in the US, India, EU:
    Jul 30, 2008 at 07:44 PM

    [...] Term Extension “will damage Commission’s reputation”, top legal advisers tell Barroso [...]

  2. Dynamo_ace:
    Jun 19, 2008 at 12:55 PM

    The writing is on the wall for the EU, they must put teeth in and show the UK and France (as well as any others who support "Anti-piracy" practices) their place.

    The writing is on the wall for copyright, it must be reformed for the 21st century.

  3. Boycott Novell » Intellectual Monopolist to Keep Eye On: Commissioner Mccreevy:
    Jun 19, 2008 at 11:36 PM

    [...] Another such person seems to be Mr Mccreevy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], so make a mental note. Here is his latest blow. Today, the leading European centres for intellectual property research have released a joint [...]

  4. Especialistas criticam extensão do prazo dos direitos de autor na UE | Remixtures:
    Jun 19, 2008 at 09:02 PM

    [...] um perfeito disparate e acham que deve ser travada o quanto antes. Foi por isso que de acordo com o Open Rights Group eles enviaram ontem uma carta ao presidente da Comissão Europeia José Manuel Durão Barroso onde [...]

  5. Andrew Katz:
    Jun 19, 2008 at 05:10 PM

    Fascinating stuff. I think what amazes more than anything is McCreevy's statement that the prices of recordings out of copyright are not necessarily lower than those still in copyright. Of course, technically, that's totally correct: there's nothing stopping me from taking a public domain work and reproducing it and selling it for whatever sum I like. However, generally, PD works have got to be cheaper than copyright works.

    For text, the preferred means of consumption is (currently) the printed book, and the cost of a book will tend to the cost of production (and delivery).

    For music, however, where the preferred means of consumption is the mp3, the cost of production and delivery is so close to zero that it makes no difference.

    I've "ripped" a PD book in the past and uploaded it to Project Gutenberg ("Wired Love" by Ella Cheever Thayer, as it happens) and it's a complicated and thankless task, and not one I'd be keen to repeat. It's several orders of magnitude simpler to rip PD recordings from vinyl or tape (and not too difficult to rip them from shellac). Once that happens, the mp3 is simply available to anyone, through any number of sources, from archive.org to torrents.

    And there lies another problem for the recording industry. With an ever increasing proportion of PD MP3s winging around the torrents, it will be increasingly difficult to argue that that the torrents exist for the purpose of infringing copyright.

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