BBC piece on music copyright

17 Feb

Because you (yes, you) either produce creative content or use it somehow, you owe it to yourself to read this clear, concise, and engaging BBC column on copyright issues in music. Stuff like this directly affects what we can make, listen to, and read; the kind of companies we can start, and the kind of media devices we can own.

In 2013, copyright in the sound recording of the Beatles’ first album expires, as it will for recordings from Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and other performers of the same period.

Of course, copyright of all works expires at some point. This is for a clear reason. Copyright is designed to provide reward and incentive for creators and innovators. It also recognises that innovators and creators build on works from the past, and that they need to access these works if art, culture and science are to flourish.

In the midst of an explosion in digital music sales, and a flourishing new music scene, industry executives are lobbying the UK government to extend protection for sound recordings from 50 years to 95.

This, they say, would protect existing revenue streams that bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones provide.


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