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!