November 27, 2006 | Suw Charman Anderson

Gowers leak - copyright term not extended

For Immediate Release

A leak from the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property has indicated that the government will reject calls from the music industry to lengthen the term of copyright protection given to sound recordings. If this is true, we are encouraged and delighted by the news.

As we have argued - alongside the British Library, the IPPR and prominent musicians such as Dave Rowntree from Blur - it is essential for the vitality of the music industry that they honour the copyright bargain they have struck so that both old and new music can flourish.

Such a decision would be a victory for musicians and business alike, making it possible for them to re-use, remix, and re-release classic old recordings. The public will benefit too, from increased choice in the re-release market and from a rich creative environment within which contemporary artists can reinvigorate old recordings. And for libraries it is essential, allowing them to preserve our cultural heritage and provide public access to it without fear of lawsuits or crippling copyright clearance fees.

However, until Andrew Gowers' final report is published, we urge people to continue writing to their MPs asking them to oppose copyright extension, and to sign the Open Rights Group petition at http://www.releasethemusic.org/five-minutes/sign-our-petition/

For more information about term extension, please see our briefing pack: http://www.releasethemusic.org/press/briefing-pack/

Notes for Editors The Open Rights Group is a digital rights advocacy group based in the UK. It aims to increase awareness of digital rights issues, help foster grassroots activity and to preserve and extend civil liberties in the digital age.

For more information, contact:

michael@openrightsgroup.org Tel: +44 (0)20 7096 1079 www.openrightsgroup.org www.releasethemusic.org