EU Officially Seizes The Public Domain, Retroactively Extends Copyright
from the stealing-from-the-public dept
As was unfortunately expected, despite no evidence that this made any economic sense at all, the member states of the EU have agreed to retroactively extend copyright another 20 years, at which point you can expect it to be extended again (thanks to jtdeboe for sending this over). This is nothing short of governments and the entertainment industry seizing works from the public domain. As we’ve said before, the purpose of copyright law is to incent the creation of new works. If existing copyright law was enough to incentivize the creation at the time, then there’s simply no reason to retroactively extend the law.
This proposal, which various studies have shown will do little to help content creators, has been pushed for a long time by the record labels. It had been blocked in Europe for a while, but for reasons unknown, Denmark recently changed its mind, thereby enabling this effort to flat out seize material from the public.
It’s especially sad that this comes just a few months after the Hargreaves report, which explicitly points out that so much policy is made without evidence — and copyright extension is a perfect example of that. Citizens of the EU: your politicians just sold you out to the record labels, taking away content that was legally yours and no longer will be.