Tuesday, January 27, 2009

EU Sound Recording Term Extension Battles

A major battle is brewing in the EU over term extension for sound recordings - from 50 to 95 years.

The European Commission - ignoring the independent expert report it commissioned from Bernt Hugenholtz and the work of other independent experts - is insisting that session musicians will benefit to the tune of about €2,000 a year. On the other hand, according to IP-Watch,
the Open Rights Group, a civil liberties organization, has contested McCreevy’s estimates about the extra revenue that would accrue to session musicians. It has calculated that some 80 percent of recording artists would only receive between €0.50 and €26 each year if the proposal becomes law.
Ironically, in a dangerous downward (or maybe upward) spiral, the EU is trying to harmonize the term of sound recordings with that of the USA. It will be recalled that the Mickey Mouse Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 in the USA was justified by a need to harmonize to Europe's life + 70. In turn, Europe went up to life + 70 so as not to offend Germany.

In any discussions about renegotiating NAFTA, recall that Mexico has gone to life + 100.

Anyway, more details of the mess are available here from IP-Watch.

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