February 06, 2009 | Jim Killock

Sound Copyright conference attacks the "fairy tale" of copyright term extension.

Consumer groups, musicians, academics and industry stakeholders, together with a cross party panel of MEPs, hit out at the "fairy tale" of copyright term extension at the ORG "Sound Copyright" conference in the European Parliament last week.

One by one speakers rubbished the proposal, as outgoing ORG Executive Director Becky Hogge pointed out that “All the evidence shows that the term extension directive will do very little and almost nothing to help the poor performer and everything to line the pockets of the world’s record labels.”

Becky Hogge: Speech at Sound Copyright conference in the EU Parliament 27.01.09 from Open Rights Group on Vimeo.

You can see the opening speeches by Becky above and here and by Pekka Gronow (Part 1, Part 2), sound archivist and professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Helsinki. Professor Gronow's account of the conference is also available on his blog. We'll update you with more video and speeches very soon.

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

Next week the Legal Affairs (JURI) committee will likely vote to push the proposal to a full plenary vote in Parliament in March against fierce opposition from the representatives of 42 consumer rights organisations (BEUC), 29 privacy and civil rights organisations (EDRI), over 650,000 library and information professionals worldwide (IFLA), ORG (UK), Consumer Focus (UK) and the EFF (US).  With this in mind we urge you to contact your MEPs either in Brussels or at their home constituency and let them know why term extension should be rejected.

MEPs are coming under increasing pressure from industry lobbyists now claiming parity with countries with longer copyright terms as a justification for term extension, despite the European Commission denying that 'comparative advantage' with longer terms was a basis for the extension. (See P. 11, 12.) Show your MEP our cartoon "How copyright extension in sound recordings actually works" and get them to sign our petition and reject copyright extension!

IP watch covered our event, and Cory Doctorow writing in the Guardian echoed the chorus of concern and disapproval already voiced in international press from the International Herald Tribune to the Financial Times.

Our cartoon "How copyright extension in sound recordings actually works" has also been translated into French, Italian and Spanish, with versions appearing on Facebook and Blip TV. Now reaching a total of 30,000 views it hit the top 10 most popular political videos in the week that Obama was elected!  Tell your MEPs to reject term extension now!

Comments (6)

  1. Anders:
    Feb 18, 2009 at 05:48 PM

    In the soundcopyright briefing


    reference 5 is listed as

    "The Impact of Copyright Extension for Sound Recordings in the UK
    Price Waterhouse Coopers (report commissioned by the BPI)
    (This study has not been made publicly available)"

    is it not this one?



  2. Alex:
    Feb 21, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    I'm surprised I haven't seen a report on this site about the EP Legal Affairs Committee having voted for copyright extension:
    The next vote will be by all MEPs, maybe as early as next month.

  3. Simon:
    Feb 25, 2009 at 12:50 PM

    "The Impact of Copyright Extension for Sound Recordings in the UK" prepared by PwC for the BPI is a very interesting document.

    If you read the report, you get the impression that they do not have confidence in the data given to them by the BPI. It makes a number of assumptions, that in the intervening three years have been shown to be incorrect.

    The report and the information within it can easily be used against the copyright extension.

  4. Sound copyright?:
    Mar 31, 2009 at 08:04 PM

    [...] on the music industry efforts to mislead politicians through massive lobbying and ignoring ALL evidence (incidentally presented at the European Parliament on 27th January). The proposed term extension is [...]

  5. KS:
    Feb 15, 2009 at 09:57 AM

    An open invitation to another event, please come and join:

    Who wants to control the internet ?

    The Greens in the European Parliament have the pleasure to invite you to a conference on internet policy concerning the Telecom package and the Medina report.

    The European Parliament is about to take very important decisions that will affect the every day use of the internet by europeans : the telecom package will be adopted in second reading in April, and the Medina report on copyright recommends a very restrictive vision of the web. What is at stake is no less than net neutrality : will MEPs allow discrimination on the internet ?

    Net neutrality means that the network should be neutral and can be only be managed for technical or security reasons. Some companies dream of being able to manipulate access in order to restrict or give preference to certain services and websites, so as to block access to their competitor's services. They want to use net management as a tool against competition. This debate will have a global impact since the new US administration is expected to take crucial decisions on this issue over the next year.

    This hearing aims at revealing what is really at stake behind the complexity of several European Directives up for consideration by the European Parliament in the coming weeks.

    Please join us for this important and informative conference.

    Rebecca Harms, Helga Trüppel, Eva Lichtenberger, David Hammerstein

    Members of the Parliament 's Green/Efa Group

    Draft Programme

    Who wants to control the internet ?
    A conference organized by the Greens/Efa in the European Parliament to look into how the Medina report and the Telecom package can affect the internet

    18 February 2009
    16.30-18.30 Room 1G2
    Interpretation : EN-FR-DE-Nl

    Academic speaker
    Dr.Monica Horten, Communications and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster (Website: http://www.iptegrity.com )

    Free Software
    Alix Cazenave, APRIL (Associaton for the promotion of Libre Software)

    Industry speakers
    Angelique Broux, IBM
    You Tube
    Benjamin Bayard, French Data Network (French internet provider)

    Civil Society & Consumers
    Charles Simon, ISSOC (The Internet Society is an independent international nonprofit organisation which provides leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy)
    Anne-Catherine Lorrain, TACD
    Graham Taylor, Open Forum Europe
    Jérémie Zimmermann, La Quadrature du Net

    Registration is free but mandatory as to be allowed access to the European Parliament
    Please send you full name, birthdate and address to Laurence.vandewalle@europarl.europa.eu

  6. Luxcommons » Blog Archive » Sound copyright?:
    Feb 10, 2009 at 09:42 PM

    [...] on the music industry efforts to mislead politicians through massive lobbying and ignoring ALL evidence (incidentally presented at the European Parliament on 27th January). The proposed term extension is [...]

This thread has been closed from taking new comments.