Following the EU's misguided proposal
to extend performance copyrights on songs from 50 years to 95 years, a group of professors from intellectual property, legal and innovation positions, have gotten together to send a highly critical letter
, pointing out why such a copyright extension is not necessary and, in fact, will be quite harmful. Here's a snippet of the letter:
Unanimously, the European centres for intellectual property research have opposed the proposal. The empirical evidence has been summarised succinctly in at least three studies: the Cambridge Study for the UK Gowers Review of 2006; a study conducted by the Amsterdam Institute for Information Law for the Commission itself (2006); and the Bournemouth University statement signed by 50 leading academics in June 2008.
The simple truth is that copyright extension benefits most those who already hold rights. It benefits incumbent holders of major back-catalogues, be they record companies, ageing rock stars or, increasingly, artists' estates. It does nothing for innovation and creativity. The proposed Term Extension Directive undermines the credibility of the copyright system. It will further alienate a younger generation that, justifiably, fails to see a principled basis.
Hopefully, European politicians will actually pay attention to this condemnation of the proposed extension.