Friday, June 17, 2005

Copyright term extension UK

David Rowan at the Times is not keen on Culture Minister, James Purnell's plans to extend the term of copyright in the UK.

"Following a music industry campaign to extend the copyright term for sound recordings from 50 to 95 years, he has been rapping in rhythm with the EMI and BMG massive: in a risky, talent-driven business like pop, the suits, apparently, need guarantees of long-term financial returns. As he told the Institute for Public Policy Research yesterday, the record labels need copyright reforms “that will allow them to make returns on their creativity and to invest in innovation”. What he failed to explain was the damage that such a short-term corporate grab would do to the public good...

A 20-year patent limit forces other industries to innovate, so why should the innately risk-averse record labels need any more than a 50-year monopoly? If Mr Purnell truly wants to foster creativity, he ought to broaden his musical tastes."

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