Sunday, June 05, 2005

Extending copyright terms

The new minister for the creative industries, James Purnell, has announced that he plans to introduce and extension to copyright terms to match those in the United States. While the article doesn't mention it, I am guessing that this means an extension to copyright in sound recordings, which is currently 50 years. The plan is to extend terms to 90 years. "Why is this needed?", you may ask. The reason is that the extension would be "a way of generating more money for the record industry, which would use it to discover new talent." Amazing. You need to extend copyright in sound recordings so that the industry can spend it in the difficult task of going to bars and scouting new acts. I knew that drinks are expensive in bars, but this is ridiculous.

At least the industry has changed its tune. It's no longer "poor us", at least they admit that this will increase profits, and that the profits are there to be increased. I still smell a very heavy lobbying process behind this. The best part of the article is this:

"“The label Cool Britannia gave the impression that the policy was about supporting an elite in London. But the last five years have shown that creative industries are central to regeneration,"” he said "“You only have to look at Manchester, Gateshead or Liverpool to see how these sectors generate jobs and civic pride. We do not want to be in a situation in 30 or 40 years'’ time when [these industries] are talked about in the past tense like shipbuilding."”
You heard it here first. Liverpool and Manchester owe their regeneration to The Smiths and The Beatles.

So many jokes, so little time.

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