The European Union today took the next step in endorsing an extension to copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years.
The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) approved the measure which will now simply need the endorsement of the full European Council, almost certain to follow by the end of the month. If passed by the Council, the measure will have to be implemented in each European Member State within the next two years.
This will mean that performers in the UK (or those that now hold their rights) will obtain another twenty years of royalties from their recordings. The rights of composers will remain unaffected. They will continue to be entitled to receive royalties for the life of the songwriter plus 70 years.
The change comes despite heavy criticism of the proposals in the Gowers' Review of Intellectual Property (2006), commissioned by the last Labour government. The more recent...