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Extending Pop Music Copyrights 709

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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  • Re:it is almost (Score:3, Informative)

    by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:02AM (#12745327) Journal
    Well, maybe a bit OT but, did you know that StrawBerry fields was closed a short time ago?
    You can see the note here []

    I find that kind of sad, not because of the beatles song but because it was the home for children without families
  • Re:What the? (Score:4, Informative)

    by NetNifty ( 796376 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:04AM (#12745343) Homepage
    Same, this is absurd, the rich don't need to get richer. UK people can find their MPs here [].
  • James Purnell (Score:2, Informative)

    by jgritz ( 858142 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:05AM (#12745348) Homepage
    You may want to contact the wonderful minister for "uncreative industries", James Purnell [] and let him know what you think...
  • Re:Why not? (Score:4, Informative)

    by LarsWestergren ( 9033 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @08:36AM (#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, Informative)

    by Minna Kirai ( 624281 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @09:45AM (#12746069)
    Everyone did get the same extensions ... in the United States.

    Nope. It was unfair to some copyright-holders. If the copyright on a work had already expired, it wasn't extended.

    Suppose you have two authors, who died in either 1947 or 1949. Prior to the act, both of those copyrights would be gone today. After the act, the 1947 book is public domain, but the other will still be controlled until 2019. From the perspective of the inheritors of those estates, the extensions weren't the same at all. (Retroactive extensions would've been the same, and they were quite possible too)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @10:07AM (#12746285)

    have you ever seen what you get billed for when you use a recording studio owned, or worse *recommended* by a major label?

    the reasons they(and they're not the only artists to do this) built their own studio are complex, but can be distilled down to "not wanting to get bent over"
  • by cwsulliv ( 522390 ) * <> on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @10:19AM (#12746394)
    "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."

    Guess what ... this is OUR society!!!

    Orchestras don't play classical music "by ear", they play from sheet music which is copyrighted by the publisher. They have to pay royalties to the publisher for every public performance, even for works by Beethoven and Bach.

    How come? ... because each printing is a new "arrangement", eligible for copyright even if only a few notes are modified. And the royalty is the same for these old compositions as it would be for an original work by a modern composer.

    Sure, the orchestra could play from sheet music published in the USA before 1923, if such could be found. But little of this old sheet music has been preserved that long.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @10:32AM (#12746538)
    Building a project studio can actually be cheaper than hiring a commercial facility, especially if it ends up being used for several albums. That's why most bands do it.
  • > 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 [].

    > 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 decades would need a financial incentive to produce new works...

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

    by TheRealJFM ( 671978 ) on Tuesday June 07, 2005 @01:18PM (#12748721) Homepage Journal
    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!


    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 the prospect that record companies could receive royalties for an artists work long after their death. The purpose of copyright was to encourage the development art, but also to develop a pluralistic culture where the work of many people could become a central part of our society.

    Imagine a world where someone still owned the rights to Shakespeare, and could charge our Schools and Universities to teach something that is now a part of our culture. This appears to be direction in which our law is heading, after numerous extensions in the length of copyright, where copyrighted art changes from being a temporary protection to a literal piece of property.

    This situation would allow a record company to keep making money from a work decades after it's author can no longer benefit from the royalties. This simply doesn't make sense - either copyright is a contract given to an artist to encourage them to create art, or it is property. Since the record industry would like us to believe that copyrighted material is literal property, and therefore copyright infringement is "stealing", then shouldn't this be taxed?

    If a one hundred year copyright is not taxed, yet a one hundred year property lease is, then I hope that you will perhaps realise the absurdity of this proposal.

    I understand that the record industry has an infinitely greater lobbying power than someone such as myself, but I hope that you will please consider working against a potential change which I am sure will only help a very small minority of people yet cause endless frustration to the majority of this country.

    I would be interested to hear any discussion or arguments you may be able to offer. Just knowing your personal view about this topic would be very valuable to me.

    Thank you very much for your time.

    Yours sincerely,

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.