U.K. report backs copyright extension

Committee supports musicians' campaign

LONDON — The music industry has welcomed the U.K. government’s “New Media and the Creative Industries” report, which Wednesday recommended that the copyright term in sound recordings should be extended beyond the current 50 years.

The recommendation flies in the face of last year’s independent report by former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers, which said the copyright term should not be changed, despite composers and songwriters enjoying a term that lasts for their lifetime plus 70 years.

Music industry trade bodies are now lobbying the government to bring the motion to extend copyright to the European Commission so that musicians throughout Europe can benefit from a change in legislation.

The select committee that compiled the report believes that the term should be extended to at least 70 years and that backing delighted campaigners who have been battling to reject Gowers’ findings.

British Phonographic Industry CEO Geoff Taylor said: “The committee’s report understands and supports the role of copyright as the means by which creators earn a living and drive the creative economy.

“We urge the government to respond positively to the select committee and now make the case in Europe for fair copyright protection for British performers and record companies.”

Fran Nevrkla, chairman of royalty collection society PPL added, “Calls to extend copyright term have now been backed by 75 Members of Parliament across the political parties and when the government responds to the select committee we hope they will show their support for musicians and the record industry.”

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