January 16, 2009 | Becky Hogge

Come to Brussels and demand sound copyright

The European Parliament is set to vote on whether to double the term of copyright in sound recordings in early 2009. The Open Rights Group Sound Copyright campaign invites you to register your concern at an event on the proposed Term Extension Directive, on Tuesday 27 January 2009, in the European Parliament in Brussels.

Update: this video is now available to stream and download in Ogg Vorbis format.

This flawed Directive has been unanimously condemned by Europe's leading intellectual property research centres. The European Parliament must address the mounting concerns of consumer groups and copyright users if they want a modern, workable intellectual property policy.  Please, if you can, come to Brussels and register your concern. If you can't make it, please invite your MEP to attend on your behalf.

How you can help the campaign:

1) Come to an event on 27 January in the European Parliament in Brussels to hear academics, musicians and activists discuss the Directive with a roundtable of MEPs.

2) Invite your MEP to attend the 27 January event on your behalf (you can get their contact details here: UK residents; Other EU residents)

3) Invite your MEP to sign the Sound Copyright petition

4) Ask your MEP to watch the Open Rights Group's cartoon "How copyright term extension in Sound Recordings actually works"

The Open Rights Group and animators Eclectech, whose work has included pieces for Friends of the Earth and No2ID, have produced a short animation explaining "How copyright term extension in Sound Recordings actually works". Check it out and show your friends and your MEPs why term extension is a really bad idea.

In other news, the former editor of the Financial Times, Andrew Gowers, has hit out at the possibility of an "out of tune" term extension, following the UK Government's  suggestion that they should consider a copyright extension. Gowers whose original evidence-based review for the UK Government concluded against extending copyright described it as as "out of tune with reality".