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Entertainment

Extending Pop Music Copyrights 709

Posted by Hemos
from the but-of-course dept.
InklingBooks writes "According to TimesOnLine, the UK is considering doubling the copyright term for popular music to 100 years. That means the Beatles' "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me," scheduled to to go into the public domain in 2013, would earn royalties for record companies until 2063."
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Extending Pop Music Copyrights

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  • Why not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quasar1999 (520073) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:52AM (#12745247) Journal
    Disney did it... why not let others do it too? Either everyone gets extensions or no one does... it's only fair...
    • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FinchWorld (845331)
      Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean its fair.

      Infact, if alot of the larger publishers are pushing for it, it most likely means its not fair.

      • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The Only Druid (587299) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:05AM (#12745347)
        Actually, it does mean it's fair. It just doesn't mean it's right. To be fair (there are at least 8 or 9 seperate meanings, but only one for this context) is to be even-handed in the administration of rules. If we're allowing one sector of the copyright industry to have these extensions, there's an obligation (if we want to be fair) to allow the other sectors that same obligation.

        I don't think this is the right course of action, since I think these extensions are problematic at best, but I do think it's fair.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:42AM (#12745594) Homepage
          7. Being in accordance with relative merit or significance: She wanted to receive her fair share of the proceeds.

          Copyright is meant to divide the proceeds between the public (e.g. the public domain) and the copyright holders. Except the copyright holders take all their input from society, and want to give none in return. In that context, it is not fair.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by antiMStroll (664213)
          It's not fair. Had these rules been in place for the full lifetimes of all involved there is a sense in which the term 'fair' can be applied, though it's still wrong, stupid and damaging to society. This mid-stream change to existing copyright is anything but fair.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Shalda (560388) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:17AM (#12746373) Homepage Journal
          Of cousre it's not fair. It constitutes an uncompensated taking by the government and giving it to someone else. I purchase a CD on the expectation that at some specified date it will enter the public domain. Over here in the US, the Constitution explicitly forbids such a taking without compensating me. Unfortunately, Congress never, and the courts rarely, ever read the Constitution.
      • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by zCyl (14362) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:51AM (#12746134)
        Infact, if alot of the larger publishers are pushing for it, it most likely means its not fair.

        Copyright should ONLY serve as an incentive to the artist. Extending them to 100 years presents zero extra incentive, and thus serves no purpose other than reducing public access to information and art.

        The idea of copyright is to increase the total art available, not decrease the availability of art.
      • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Mac Degger (576336) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:37AM (#12746591) Journal
        You know what's not fair? Unlimited copyright. Copyright was always meant to fall into the public domain in a reasonable amount of time. But now it has gotten to the point that many things which where written before I was born will not fall into the public domain within my lifetime!

        IOW, something which has (possibly) permeated my entire life I can't incorporate in any way in my own creative work (black/white/grey album is a great example why this is a dumb situation)!

        No matter what the legislative wankers say, copyright has effectively become infinite, for all intents and purposes, if during my lifetime I can't use something which was written before I was born.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by EpsCylonB (307640)
          Its worse than that, imagine your children having to pay to learn about their country's culture. It would a bit like still having shakespeare copyrighted.
    • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeventyBang (858415)
      yup. More Mickey Mouse legislation.

      Why limit it to 100 years?

      Let's just make it permanent.

      Microsoft gets patents for anything[1] whenever they apply for it. Someone cries because Mickey Mouse might fall into public domain. Now, the Beatles might end up in a freeforall.

      Does Jacko still own a substantial portion of the Fab Four? If so, it would be better for the Beatles' music to be available to all. It's better than lining the pockets of a pervert.

      __________________________________
      [1]"Someday,
      • > Microsoft gets patents for anything[1] whenever they apply for it. Someone
        > cries because Mickey Mouse might fall into public domain. Now, the Beatles
        > might end up in a freeforall.

        You appear to be confusing patents and copyright. They have different words because they describe different things.
        • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SnapShot (171582) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:31AM (#12745953)
          I've fought this battle many times as well. Patents are not trademarks are not copyright.

          However, the general problem is similar. Large corporations have co-opted all forms of legal intellectual property protection to the detriment of personal rights. Whether we are talking about Angus McDonald's pub being sued by McDonalds Inc., effectively infinite copyright terms, or patent arsenals designed to forstall competition there is a general trend of those with the money and power abusing the IP laws to expand their power and increase their money.

          Now, no one honestly expects the corporations and their governments to do anything else, but we don't have to like it and, hopefully in the long run, we won't have to accept it.
          • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by 'nother poster (700681) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:31AM (#12746521)
            One of the main differences is that patents have something resembling realistic expiration terms. 20 years from application, the last I remember seeing. That means that IBM, or Microsoft, or whomever can only monopolize the information for 20 years, then anyone can use it to produce an item. That means that if I invent something at 30 that pays well, and I want to continue getting income after I turn 50, I need to invent something new. Thus adding to society. If I write a book or song, my grandchildren will still make money off it with them making no contribution to society. That's the problem as I see it.
      • Pervert? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Grendel Drago (41496) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:10AM (#12745802) Homepage
        It's better than lining the pockets of a pervert.

        Now, now. Let's wait to pass judgment until, y'know, the trial's over. I, for one, hope he is guilty, because if he's innocent, he'll have gone through hell and a half for no reason other than being really, really weird. And that shouldn't be a crime in America.

        --grendel drago
        • Re:Pervert? (Score:5, Funny)

          by huge colin (528073) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:07AM (#12746275) Journal
          for no reason other than being really, really weird. And that shouldn't be a crime in America.

          Disagree. Have you seen how weird he is?
        • Re:Pervert? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by StrongAxe (713301) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @10:11AM (#12746952)
          I, for one, hope he is guilty, because if he's innocent, he'll have gone through hell and a half for no reason other than being really, really weird. And that shouldn't be a crime in America.

          Hoping someone is guilty just to salve society's conscience is a bit like robbing someone at gunpoint, and then afterwards hoping he was a criminal because then he would deserve it.

          Much like the rationale for the Conquistadores raping and pillaging the Americas, because, after all, the natives were merely heathens, which made it "all right".
    • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Informative)

      by LarsWestergren (9033) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:36AM (#12745556) Homepage Journal
      Either everyone gets extensions or no one does... it's only fair...

      In the interest of fairness, I propose decapitations for everyone involved in this legislation.
    • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PortHaven (242123)
      Of course this is in the U.K. but we have similar issues in the U.S. however, in the U.S. our foundation on such matters is somewhat different.

      And that's why I have no problem with downloading music....if the royalty holders are going to steal from the people of the United States. Than I have no problem stealing back what is rightfully ours.
  • by MarsDude (74832) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:52AM (#12745251) Homepage
    'strawberry fields forever'

    well.. another 50 years feels like forever to me :-)
    • Re:it is almost (Score:3, Informative)

      by xtracto (837672)
      Well, maybe a bit OT but, did you know that StrawBerry fields was closed a short time ago?
      You can see the note here [yahoo.com]

      I find that kind of sad, not because of the beatles song but because it was the home for children without families
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:53AM (#12745264) Homepage Journal
    Why is it that people have to pay land taxes but they don't have to pay copyright taxes? If you own land you are required to pay a tax on it because the state spends a heck of a lot of public resources on protecting that land for you. The same goes for copyright (especially now that copyright violation has become a criminal act in some countries) so why don't the copyright holders have to pay a tax?
    • by l3v1 (787564) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:00AM (#12745308)
      so why don't the copyright holders have to pay a tax

      Simply because that would be insane. For if you ever wrote a poem you'd have to pay for it, which sounds just crap. If you go to a publisher, and sell those poems by twelve a dozen, then he's got income, you've got income, and hey, if you don't live on the moon's dark side, you have to pay taxes after all that, don't you.

      • by hey! (33014) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:23AM (#12745894) Homepage Journal
        For if you ever wrote a poem you'd have to pay for it, which sounds just crap.

        Well, not necessarily. Nobody's interested in anything you haven't published. Once it is published, it irretrievably becomes part of the public consciousness. You are asking the public to do something very unnatural, which is not to use information that you've deliberately put in their heads. So, I think it is fair that copyright tax should be designed to kick in after publishing.

        Actually, I'd like to do it like this: You are taxed on your copyright based on 1% of your peak annual revenues for a work. If you haven't published, that would be zero. Suppose you made a million dollars this year, your tax would be ten thousand dollars, hardly an amount that would be an economic distortion. Now suppose your million dollar seller isn't selling anymore, and you decide to take it out of print. Then you'd have to decide whether it was worth it to you to keep paying the annual ten grand or to let the work go public domain. If you were planning a sequel, of course you'd pay. If you were just cussed about it, then you'd probably still pay, but the amount you pay would be roughly based on how much money you've made in the past, and the proven potential of your work (and derivative works) to generate revenue.

        There are two reasons I like this way of doing things. First, if you publish some obscure literary work aimed at a small number of people, you aren't asking much of the public not to use your work, so you don't pay much. It scales the benefits and costs of copyright fairly. Secondly, I imagine huge companies with vast libraries of IP would be forced to evaluate that IP and decide whether they're going to do anything with it. Right now they can just leave the creative work of prior generations rotting ina vault somewhere without ever thinking about it. They'll either decide to rerelease it, build some kind of derivative work on it, or let it go into the public domain. Disney can still keep the copyright to Mickey Mouse if they have a sufficiently profitable use for it.
        • by MourningBlade (182180) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:50AM (#12746726) Homepage

          There's another proposal I've heard: after an initial term (15 or 20 years), you pay a "copyright renewal tax" of $x per work.

          This has several benefits: copyright of immediate works does not require registration, there is no complicated tax system[1], the first - most profitable - period is guaranteed for free, and (most importantly) it becomes easy to discover whether or not a work is in the public domain and who the rights holder is.

          Oh, and it discourages IP hoarding, which is a real problem now. But it doesn't set the bar very high. Even a $1 per 15-year renewal wouldn't be that bad, and would confer numerous benefits.

          Your proposal is an interesting one, though. Yours and this one seem to have slightly different aims.

          It's the difference between taxing production and taxing rent seeking behavior. The proposal is Lawrence Lessig's, and there is much discussion of it out there.

          [1] - the more complicated the calculation is, the more likely it will be abused by "special interests." You also bring in the IRS (auditing, valuation, paperwork). Simple "if it's not in the list as having paid $15, it's public domain" is something the Library of Congress could easily keep track of.

          • That's all well and good, but any sort of registration system complicates cross-border copyrights significantly. Does the author have to register and renew in all countries, or do we take a homeland registration as an international copyright?

            The differences in laws between countries would lead to a market for "copyright import agents" who would no doubt do their best to exploit foreigners seeking publication in a taxable country. (In a manner similar to US record companies ripping off rural (mainly Africa

    • by surprise_audit (575743) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:00AM (#12745312)
      That'll never happen - the RIAA/MPAA (and their clones in other countries) have bought legislation to protect "their" IP. They'd never let anyone actually tax them on it as well. And if somehow such a tax *did* get passed, the copyright holders would simply pass it on to the consumers in the form of raised prices and ever-increasing lawsuits.
    • This is accomplished with income tax. The more your copyright is worth, the more money you make, and thus the more money you pay in income tax.
      • Actually, thats not true. A lot of copyrights are maintained, even though they aren't commercialized at all, either because the copyright holder just wants to be a jerk about it or because it would cost them more to monetize the copyright than it's worth to them. Because copyright is practically eternal and requires no effort to maintain, all these works are lost to the public commons, some of them forever. This, of course, is the exact opposite of what copyright is supposed to do. The taxation system provi
    • Please don't suggest this, someone might be listening :)

      Seriously, if a tax was added, it woudn't reduce the controls on copyrighted materials, nor would the executives decide to lower thier price points due to the tax. Instead, the government would collect a portion of your quickly dwindling paycheck to distribute to the major record labels, most likely through the hands of the major music associations.

      By the time the money passes through the hands of the government, the music association, the record la
  • This can be seen ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by canwaf (240401) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:54AM (#12745268) Homepage Journal
    This can be seen as giving the record companies more money to generate/find new talent /or/

    Giving the record companies more money as they rehash the same old talent.

    It's amazing how record companies can make themselves sound like poor orphans with no money, food, heating, or shelter.
    • by malkavian (9512)
      More like it being a case of giving the record companies more money, so they don't have to find new talent for the next 50 years.
      Every other business out there needs to stay competitive by creating new products, and actually use their brains to work out how to do this.
      The recording industry just says "We once got someone to make a good product, took it over and made a killing from it. We need you to keep giving us money for it so we don't have to think about how to make another decent product in the futu
  • Record Companies? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by goneutt (694223)
    Michael Jackson bought the rights to the beatles music way back in the 80's. Thats one reason to not buy beatles CD's. Pirate your beatles music, then buy something else by McCartney or Ringo, that way they'll see the profits. Buying beatles music supports a pedofile.
    • When you buy Beatles-records, the profit goes to the band (or rather, the company they set up, Apple Corps). What MJ bought was the right to make remakes of Beatles-songs. He doesn't get any profits from the songs performed by the Beatles.
  • Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JimDabell (42870) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:56AM (#12745275) Homepage

    ...everyone knows that unless the Beatles continue to make money from recordings made fifty years ago, they'll have to quit music and get day jobs. Then society won't get any new Beatles music, and then where will we be?

    It seems to me that copyrights are turning from a temporary privilege into an actual property right, despite all indications that only a self-interested minority of our society wants that. So when are copyright holders going to pay property tax on their holdings?

    • Re:Because... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:26AM (#12745491)
      ..everyone knows that unless the Beatles continue to make money from recordings made fifty years ago, they'll have to quit music and get day jobs. Then society won't get any new Beatles music, and then where will we be?

      Yea, this is one area where I think we've gone totally wrong. Copyright should last at most 10-20 years. Works that persist longer in the spotlight become more a part of the culture than a creation of the artist. For example, I doubt many people here know who actually wrote the "Happy Birthday" song, but everyone knows it, everyone sings it at a birthday party, and yet it's still under copyright.

      Imagine a society where an orchestra couldn't play any classical music without acquiring the rights to that performance from a copyright holder that has been passed down through the centuries by inane copyright law and they end up paying a large amount of money for you to enjoy their performance. When a work of art persists for decades in the hearts and minds of a large group of people it becomes part of our unique culture and our government has the obligation to help protect that cultural identity IMHO.

      As an artist there seems to be two camps, those who do it for the money and those who do it for the art. For the latter I would imagine they enjoy making money off something they love as a side effect, but if they couldn't sell a single song or book I'm sure they'd continue writing or singing. For the former group they'll wither away and leave us with less bubble gum pop bands, manufactured grunge groups, and corporate "gangsta" rappers, but in the end our cultural identity will thrive as a result. We'd be cutting out the crap and keeping the true art made by people who love their work for the sake of making it and not for the money it brings them... I guess it'd result in a situation like we have with open source programmers in the end.

      Aw screw it, I guess I'm sounding like a big old commie now, but I had to get that off my chest. The fact that Mickey Mouse is still under the iron thumb of Walt Disney Corporation so long after Walt's death just annoys the hell out of me.

      • Re:Because... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ChristTrekker (91442)

        Exactly. We wouldn't have many of the great Disney classics like Cinderella if the original story had still been under the same kind of copyright that Disney wants for its own works. Disney obviously benefited from works that had gone into the public domain, stories that are part of our common heritage and culture. After 75 years, Mickey Mouse is part of the popular culture. In a very real sense, he "belongs" to everyone now. It's time to let Mickey go to the people. Copyright is supposed "to promote

      • Re:Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MartinG (52587)
        Aw screw it, I guess I'm sounding like a big old commie now

        Quite the opposite. You are arguing in favor of a free market. Your ideas are closer to capitailst principles and I very strongly agree with you.

        Don't forget that copyright is just a form of government intervention in a market. There is nothing commie about dislike of government intervention where it is not welcome.

      • Re:Because... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hackstraw (262471) * on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @10:24AM (#12747097)
        Copyright should last at most 10-20 years.

        I agree. I also believe that it should be renewable by the copyright owner until the owner dies, and that the copyright is not transferable to anyone else.

        When you hear about the great grandchildren suing over "their" rights that their dead great grandmother's work (dead over 50 years mind you), something is wrong. I'm thinking of the recent "Gone with the wind" lawsuit.

        So, can I sue the government for Social Security from my dead grandparents and great grandparents? Or their employers? Hey, you guys owe me money because my great grandfather worked for you over 50 years ago, plus pain and suffering to boot! WTF?

        Now things of physical value that can be physically transfered from one individual to another is another story. If I had my great grandparent's original transcript for a work they did when they are alive, I'm entitled to sell it and deprive myself of ownership of that property, but I don't see where I have any right to rent the arrangement of words indefinitely.

        I doubt many people here know who actually wrote the "Happy Birthday" song, but everyone knows it, everyone sings it at a birthday party, and yet it's still under copyright.

        Yup. Some rich fuck "owns" it and gladly collects about $2 mil a year for it. Its an interesting read, find it here: http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.htm [snopes.com].

        I will say that Mickey Mouse is a little different because it is almost synonymous with the Disney corporation. I believe that it can and should be trademarked and protected, but Steam Boat Willy copies (if anyone really wants them) should be in the public domain by now. Disney can sell original film cells for $10 billion a frame, but the story and singing and whistling is done.

        This whole copyright debate is basically almost like any extremist's position. Like the NRA, MADD, or any other fanatical group. Their views are absurd and rigid, and its up to their opponents to bring them down a little and we meet somewhere in the middle.

        One thing that is different about copyrights, is to ask "Who is being benefitted by having these absurdly long copyrights?" Is it your average Joe Smoe that creates the copyrighted material?

        Nope.

        Does it benefit society in general?

        Nope.

        It only benefits already rich people and corporations. It does little to nothing for the creators, and it deprives your average citizen, and adds one more thing to their lives that could be a criminal act. Citizen rights as we know it are becoming less and less every day in favor of the government and corporations (basically the same thing). This will continue until people get pissed off enough and start a riot or revolution. The thing that kills me is that we average folk way outnumber these assholes, but I guess we are too poorly organized and busy taking care of ourselves to do much of anything.
  • I'd like to launch a slashdot poll to see how many are really surprised about this ...

    seriuosly, did anyone expect this NOT to happen ??

  • Pure Genius (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Linker3000 (626634) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:57AM (#12745288) Journal
    That changes everything - it'll stop illegal downloading at a stroke!
  • by otter42 (190544) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:57AM (#12745289) Homepage Journal
    "Bands like Coldplay will make enough money for their company to help them discover around 50 or 100 bands."

    Excuse me? EXCUSE ME??? The point of a band is to make money for its label???

    What about the label paying its bands living wages? Or does that just not count?

    What about using the internet to develop and promote new bands? That doesn't count either?

    Thank god I live in France where my right to download CDs and movies is now protected by "activist judges".
  • So the content distribution business will churn cover versions forever and we'll forget what a song writer is?

    Seems to be a strong disincentive to write new songs because the distribution business finds it cheaper to repackage songs they already own! Why pay a writer?

    Or will it become like art museums, where every generation goes to see the Picasso or the Turner and the only new art is weird art that isn't in a Turner style.

    Imagine the future: "and here we have the work by the famous artist Kylie who liv
  • Sigh... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bobbis.u (703273) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:58AM (#12745295)
    Why do governments feel the need to continually prop up the record industry? Its primary business model is clearly doomed in the long run, so why delay the inevitable?

    Let's face it, unless the indsutry starts embracing the future and changing the way they do business, it's only a matter of time before they are rendered obsolete by self-publication and internet distribution by artists themselves.

  • Why retroactive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RPoet (20693) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:58AM (#12745296) Journal
    Why must copyright extensions always be retroactive? Are we afrad that The Beatles won't write Love Me Do in 1963 if he didn't expect royalties for a hundred years? Wait, that doesn't even make sense. The copyright deal back then was given, and works were created as intended; the incentive worked. So why would we need to give a guy in 1963 more incentive to create?
    • One advantage of this is that it will be a little more difficult for crappy adds to use beatles tunes to advertise their products. Imagine "strawberry fields forever" to a streets icecream
    • by thisissilly (676875)
      Exactly. If we could hold the government of the US to the promises it made to the public in 1948 (copyright lasted 28 years, with one renewal for 28 years) *everything* pre-1949 would now be in the public domain.

      Think of the wonder that would be: all of WWII era, all that music, books, films, now legally downloadedable and shareable online.

      Instead, thanks to the copyright acts of 1976 and 1998, we are stuck in stasis, with 1923's material not scheduled to enter the public domain until 2019, if we can avo
  • What the? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobintetley (643462) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:58AM (#12745297)
    I am FUCKING furious.

    If this goes into force, anything you hear today is unlikely to be returned to the public domain within the lifetime of your GRANDCHILDREN. This is completely fucking unacceptable.

    Copyright is already 30 years too long. These media cartels have stolen our public domain and culture, and are renting it back to us in perpetuity.

    I'm off to write to my MP.

    GRRRRRR
    • Re:What the? (Score:4, Informative)

      by NetNifty (796376) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:04AM (#12745343) Homepage
      Same, this is absurd, the rich don't need to get richer. UK people can find their MPs here [writetothem.com].
    • Re:What the? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mykdavies (1369) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:29AM (#12745509)
      So am I.

      The man is obviously an idiot if he thinks:

      1) Increasing the potential profitability of their existing back-catalogues will encourage the record companies to invest in new acts.

      2) Record companies will change their current investment in new acts based on potential extra revenue in FIFTY YEARS TIME.

      I gritted my teeth and voted Labour last month, but with this and the renewed push for ID cards, they've lost my support within a month.

      Idiots.
      • Re:What the? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jamie Lokier (104820)

        I gritted my teeth and voted Labour last month, but with this and the renewed push for ID cards, they've lost my support within a month.

        Idiots.

        They got exactly what they wanted, so they were smart. They were honest, too. Labour made it quite clear they were going to push strongly for ID cards; if you don't like that policy, then you were stupid to vote for them. They also made it clear (by their actions in the patent debate) that they support strong IP in favour of big cartels. Again, voting

    • Re:What the? (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRealJFM (671978)
      For all its worth I tapped up a quick generic letter to send to MPs. It more or less represents the views presented by the comments in this thread.

      Use it if you will!

      START:

      To ,

      I am a citizen within your constituency, and I am writing to inquire about your personal stance upon an issue raised in a recent issue of The Times (June 05, 2005). The article, written by Andrew Porter, discusses plans to extend the length of copyright for popular music within this country to one hundred years.

      I am worried at th
  • ...

    It is the greed that never ends...
    It just goes on and on my friends...
    One day the recording industry started doing it...
    and now they'll forever continue doing it because...

    whoops... now im gonna get sued.
  • by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @06:59AM (#12745304)
    ...except the record companies, of course. 100 years is more than likely beyond the lifespan of any given musician, so they can't exactly hide behind the 'it's about the poor artists' on this one. Heck, the Beatles are already halfway there, any bets on whether McCartney will see 2063?
  • by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:00AM (#12745306)
    Artistic protection! For artists that compose their first evergreen in the womb, write it down immediately after being dried and live to a hundred.

    What a load of manure. Like record companies don't have enough money already. And as if classical music is easier to compose and hence needs merely 50 years.
  • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:02AM (#12745321)
    Copyright was intended to temporarily reward the artist, to encourage them to produce art.

    (s/innovator/innovations/ but it's all the same).

    Artists do not commonly live for 100 years. Especially not 100 years from when they produce the work that gets them the most praise.

    Even if the artist got 100% of the royalties from the copyright, extending it past the artist's natural lifetime is meaningless.

    In addition, even compensating the artist for their entire natural lifetime is counter-productive, since it removes the driving force (according to traditional wisdom, above) behind their production or art. If you're singing to eat, then giving you all the money you'll ever need reduces your need to sing. This is the exact opposite of what copyright is intended for.

    Finally, artists commonly don't even get 10% of the profits from their work. Why? Because the copyright is usually owned by a large corporation, which had no hand whatsoever in the creative, artistic work. They simply publicise the artist and distribute the art, and reap 90%+ of the profits from it.

    Given this state of affairs, extending copyright does nothing but feed more money to already overcompensated multinationals, while either shutting out the originating artist or (if they own their own copyright and get all the profits) discouraging them from producing further art.

    This is fucking obvious. Why don't people see it?

    Or are they just blinded by all those dollar bills the entertainment industry keeps piling over their heads?
    • > This is fucking obvious. Why don't people see it?

      They *DO* see it, however they don't have billions of dollars to lobby with.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:46AM (#12745627) Homepage Journal
      Copyright was intended to temporarily reward the artist, to encourage them to produce art.

      The frenchman who came up with it called it "author's rights".
      I'm trying to remember his name... he was involved in the american war of independance... dang lack of sleep.

      Anyway, the point of it was that in those days, the publishers were the only ones with the means to reproduce and distribute "copyrightable" material because printing presses were huge and expensive, and so the authors got screwed: they paid you a small sum for your labour and then made money off your work by simply printing it ad-nauseum.

      Back then the publishers were opposed to copyrights. Now they twisted it and corrupted the system so that they once again get to screw people over. We gotta take the power back... don't ask me how though.
      • > I'm trying to remember his name... he was involved in the american war of independance...

        The guy you're searching for is Pierre de Beaumarchais [answers.com].

        > Back then the publishers were opposed to copyrights. Now they twisted it and corrupted the system so that they once again get to screw people over.

        "twisted" is an understatement. In Beaumarchais' own country, copyright now runs for the author's entire life, plus seventy years. I'm still trying to grasp why the hell some guy that's been dead for deca

  • Love (Score:5, Funny)

    by MarsDude (74832) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:02AM (#12745322) Homepage
    Love love me doe
    I act like a ho
    You'll pay me some mo
    so pleeeaaaheaaheaheaaaaasssee

    Give me doe !!

  • > That means the Beatles' "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me," scheduled to to go into the public domain in 2013, would earn royalties for record companies until 2063.

    Michael Jackson owns the publishing rights [straightdope.com] to a nice chunk of beatles music. If Michael plans on holding out for a few more child molestation lawsuits before he dies he really needs that revenue source to be maintained.

    Think of the children! If this musical copyright expires there will be no money for the children to extract from Mic

  • James Purnell (Score:2, Informative)

    by jgritz (858142)
    You may want to contact the wonderful minister for "uncreative industries", James Purnell [labour.co.uk] and let him know what you think...
  • Wise move... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mscheid (318333)
    considering all the big english hits are at least 30 years old by now ]:)
  • by Gumshoe (191490) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:20AM (#12745449) Journal
    In America, copyright protection lasts 90 years -- and British ministers are considering a similar period.
    If you look at the history of copyright reform, you can see this leapfrogging of other countries copyright period as standard practice. In fact, it's tempting to think that it's deliberate. The reasoning here is, the US has copyright for 90 years so the UK must have a period of 100 years otherwise it must be unfair. Expect in the future, US legislators to use the UK's period of 100 years to argue for 110 years. Ad Nauseum.
  • The Real Reason (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DocSavage64109 (799754) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:21AM (#12745456)
    I wonder if the real reason for extending the copyright to 100 years is so there won't soon be completely legal rampant sharing of some of the best music ever produced. Why pay money for new crap when you can have a free catalog of all of the music from the 60s?

    Now that I think of it, does this mean all of the music up to 1955 is now public domain? If so, someone should start a legal torrent site of public domain albums up through 1955.
  • Error in the article (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrLex (811382) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:27AM (#12745496) Homepage
    BRITAIN'S super-rich rock veterans are about to get even richer.
    Oops, typo. That should have been:
    BRITAIN'S super-rich rock veteran leeching music companies are about to get even richer.
  • by ZorroXXX (610877) <hlovdal@ g m a i l .com> on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:29AM (#12745508)
    I think Douglas Adams was quite on spot in one of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books [injustice.net.nz] where he describes a bar populated with somewhat less attractive clients:

    He glanced around at the motley collection of thugs, pimps and record company executives that skulked on the edges of the dim pools of light with which the dark shadows of the bar's inner recesses were pitted. They were all very deliberately looking in any direction but his now, carefully picking up the threads of their former conversations about murders, drug rings and music publishing deals.

  • Modern times? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @07:31AM (#12745517) Homepage
    First Mickey, now this.

    Why is this happening? Surely half a century ago artists/companies had copyrights, and they didn't last 100 years. Did any of those companies fold or artists starve because they couldn't get longer copyrights?

    It seems to me that there is a lot of proof out there that prolonged copyrights are not needed for the copyright-owners to survive.

    Perhaps somebody with a better historical view of copyrights can shed some light on the matter; is there any evidence in history that prolonged copyrights have such value as to warrant them?

    I can understand that a copyright of just 1 year would be a bit too short for the artist to get his "morally right" compensation, but surely after 50 years it should have been enough?
  • by TractorBarry (788340) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:02AM (#12745757) Homepage
    That could all be well and good as long as their was one slight change to copyright laws.

    e.g. The only people who can receive ANY paymenmts in relation to copyrighted works are the original authors and/or the original performers of a work (in the case of people doing the writing and other people doing the performing both would get a share etc.)

    The same for inventors. Only the original inventor gets any share of the copyright.

    Furthermore these rights cannot be sold, leased or given away

    And once all the original copyright holders have died the works become public domain.

    That way only the people who are directly resonsible for the work get the credit. And a fucking pox on all middle men whose only purpose is to parasite and fuck up the creative process.
    • by BSDevil (301159)
      Yuo do know that by doing that, you'd be pretty much ending the existence of most corporations, right? Assuming that's not what you were going for, I think you missa few key steps in your logic.

      Let's look at movies, for a start. If there are (say) 100 people invilved in the creative side of a movie, then by your system all revenues from the movie in question would be split 100 ways. Make a blockbuster movie, each of the 100 people get four million dollars a head, and they're happy. So what about the 990 o
  • by DrSbaitso (93553) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:33AM (#12745973)
    As Stephen Breyer pointed out during oral argument for the challenge brought to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act a few years ago, then-current (i.e. pre-Bono Act) copyright terms already convey 99.7% of the present value of the future earnings stream from a work to the copyright holder, assuming a historical average discount rate. No economist seriously believes that the current round of term extensions are anything but government kowtowing to media companies. It's a shame that the SCOTUS didn't overturn the Sonny Bono Act.
  • by HermanAB (661181) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:51AM (#12746130)
    The music industry tries to protect its old music, since the new music is so bad. If there were good musicians today, raking in mountains of cash, then they would not have cared about the old stuff.

    My teenage son and his friends all listen to 1970s and 1980s rock music. When I was his age, I would not have been caught dead listening to my dad's ragtime...

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