This week, the Council of the European Union has agreed to extend the copyright term for performers and record companies from 50 to 70 years from release of the recording.
This is the culmination of a ten-year campaign by performers and the wider music industry across Europe. PPL first raised the issue of copyright term with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in 2002 and in 2006; we presented the petition from 6,000 PPL performer members to Government.
Other British music industry bodies including the BPI, The Musician’s Union and AIM also welcomed the copyright extension. The organisations hailed the approval of the Directive as an enormously positive step forward for everyone in British music – including music fans, featured artists, session musicians, producers and record labels.
It is expected that The Directive will be implemented across all EU Member States by 2013, extending the term of protection from 50 to 70 years for performers and producers of recorded music.
Additional measures are contained in the Directive to ensure that both featured artists and session musicians reap the benefit of a longer copyright term, including:
– A substantial new fund for session musicians from record company revenues in the extended term.
– A requirement for labels to make sure all recordings are commercially available, failing which the artist will be entitled to release their recordings themselves.
– A ‘clean slate’ for featured artists, writing off any unsecured advances so that artists receive full royalties in the extended term.
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