Intellectual Property Office
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UK-IPO response to the European Commission's proposal to extend the term of copyright protection
The UK-IPO today responded to the European Commission's proposal to extend the term of copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 95 years.
Additional measures in the Directive include a proposal that record producers set aside 20% of all revenues for a fund for session artists. A 'use it or lose' it clause should enable performers to regain the rights in recordings over 50 years old which are no longer available commercially. There is also a proposal to align the term of protection for the music and lyrics which together make a musical composition.
Minister of Intellectual Property Baroness Delyth Morgan said,
"Because copyright represents a monopoly we need to be very clear that the circumstances justify an extension. We will therefore need to consider these proposals carefully to understand how they would work and what the benefits are likely to be. I would like to hear what the public thinks about this and would urge all those who have an interest in these proposals to make sure their voice is heard and to contact the UK-IPO by the end of August."
The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, an independent government commissioned review, recommended against an extension of copyright term. Evidence suggested that extending the term of protection would negatively impact on consumers and industry.
* Andrew Gowers undertook a review of Intellectual Property in 2005 and reported his findings to the Government in December 2006. He identified a number of areas where improvements could be made. The Government committed to taking the recommendations forward. The full review can be viewed at The HM Treasury website. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk./media/6/E/pbr06_gowers_report_755.pdf
* As part of the Gowers Review a report was commissioned from the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law to examine the economic evidence for extending the term of protection for sound recordings. The full review can be viewed at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/B/4/gowers_cipilreport.pdf
* If you have any comments on the proposal you are invited to send them to Barbara Squires at: Termextension@ipo.gov.uk by the end of August.