Copyright on sound recordings extended to 70 years
I wonder if anyone has views on this? It seems to be mainly about people like Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney (and the record companies) making a bit more money as they get older.
I suppose it could effect some of the labels that currently re-release out-of-copyright material although I understand it is not retrospective i.e. won't effect re-released out-of-copyright recordings already on the market.
Last edited by MarkG; 17-09-11 at 14:27.
Reason: typo in title
I wondered whether it would affect sites such as classicalmusicmobile which has very cheap (1 euro) sales of out-of-copyright recordings. Many of these will now presumably be caught within the 70-year copyright band.
If copyright on the music itself extends to 70 years after a conposer's death, then this is new regulation is more than fair. Why should other companies be able to rip the Solti Ring, etc. and sell it, having done nothing but make a copy of it?
Originally Posted by aeolium
Now the 70 years after the death of the composer, or even arranger rule is a different matter. It seems crazy that Richard Strauss's Festmarsch no. 1, composed in 1877, will still be in copyright until 2019.
I believe it is fair and right. My only regret (Oh, sorry, Jayne ) is that the big companies do not clean up the pressings in the way that engineers like Mark Obert-Thorn have done for Naxos. Some of his transfers from 78rpm records sound as good as today's new CDs.
It probably means that classic recordings that the big companies have no interest in re-releasing will stay out of circulation.
Also I'm not sure how much of the money will actually go to the musicians (depending on their contracts) rather than just in the pockets of the companies.
Let's not kid ourselves that the record companies are doing this for the artists, I'm sure that few of them are getting any royalties any more, apart from maybe a few pop starts like Cliff, the real money goes to whoever now owns the company that made the recordings. Look at HMV, CBS and RCA's back catalogues and who owns them now.
In the meantime, we are beholden to new owners who often have very different views of the music and yes, many things will stay out of circulation, I suspect that new CD reissues may fall significantly now.
Bad news for consumers, possibly good news for composers/performers.......if this provides a lifeline to a few retired labourers in the musical vineyard, then all well and good, but my fear is that it will only benefit the multinationals who now own the original recording companies.
Last edited by Mandryka; 18-09-11 at 23:54.
Yes, it could be bad news if the copyright holders selfishly hold on to their recordings without releasing them. Perhaps a better law would only protect issues that were actually available.
Terrible news. In the "classical" market it means that many recordings that should be out there will simply not be re-issued. Don't suppose this was of concern to Sir Cliff, EMI etc.
I feel instinctively that the changes in copyright law are a bad thing, but in fact I can't see why they should seemingly be so important for people like Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff. As I understood it, the copyright law extended up to 50 years after an artist's death anyway, so as Paul M is still alive a change to 70 years would only affect his heirs. Perhaps the issue is that artists such as Paul M don't actually own their own copyright, having assigned them to others, such as record companies.
Many of these extensions in copyright seem to be initiated by organisations such as Disney and MCA. In the US even those responsible for administering copyright law have expressed misgivings about extending the period, for example Marybeth Peters - http://www.copyright.gov/docs/mbpbio.html
I have no objection to artists having copyright protection during their lifetime, as it gives them a source of revenue, and it's perhaps not unreasonable that their dependents should enjoy some benefit for a short period after their death.
Too much protection though can stifle creativity. If copyright becomes globally enforceable and extended to 500 years in the centuries to come, will we see the estates of people such as Michael Tippett sued by those acting on behalf of Beethoven for the quotations of the latter's 9th? Of course this is hypothetical, the more so, since as far as I know neither MT nor Beethoven had any heirs, though they might have left their property and other assets to people or organisations they cared about.