A handful of major record labels are trying to break a fifty year-old promise. Musicians and their fans will not be the only victims.
Copyright in sound recordings currently lasts for 50 years. An independent review (the “Gowers review”) commissioned and endorsed by the UK government says it should remain at 50 years. Yet the recording industry continues to demand that this term be extended. But term extension would be an injustice to European musicians and musical culture, and may harm our economy.
As Europe looks to the creative industries for its economic future, it is faced with a choice. It can agree to extend the copyright term in sound recordings for the sake of a few major record labels. Or it can allow sound recordings to enter the public domain at the end of fifty years for the benefit of future innovation, future prosperity and the public good.