Copyright Is Not A Welfare System For Musicians

from the please-explain dept

As the battle over copyright term extension is still going on in the UK, the Register has an interview with a former general manager of Motown, talking about how those in favor of extending the length of performance rights screwed up because they had successful musicians like Cliff Richard as the figurehead for the movement, leading people to question why a successful musician needs any more money. Instead, he points out that they should have focused on the studio musicians or less well known players where "500 quid a year to them that's a significant amount of money." Of course, that bases the entire argument on the idea that copyright is some sort of welfare program for content creators. It's not. It's very clearly laid out purpose is simply to put in place the incentives for creation of new content. The content that was created 50 years ago does not need any more incentive to be created. Yes, additional money to these musicians probably would be nice for them, but copyright isn't designed as a system to support musicians. They did this work 50 years ago. They got paid then, and they've been paid for it for 50 years, as the law stated. It was enough incentive for them back then -- and it's one of the few jobs in the world where you get paid for work you did 50 years ago. If we want to create a welfare system for musicians, that's a different discussion -- but don't try to hide a welfare system in copyright.

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  1. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 26 Jan 2007 @ 6:38am

    Re: Is Copyright a welfare system for the IT indus

    I don't think the individual programmers are the issue there. The problem is with the owners of those software companies (you know the ones that just sit in board meetings and don't do any actual coding) that want to own all the rights to the code that their employees come up with.

    But I will give this situation a hell of a lot more respect than the RIAA bull jive going on in the States. At least in the UK its the muscians (you know, the actual makers of the music) fighting for something. Meanwhile in the States you have some big suit exec that wants to control the consumer's access to music in every way in order to "protect the artists".

    And I have to ask. If the whole copyright thing is such a big deal and artists are suffering such "significant losses", "irreparable damages", and (my favorite) "lost revenues" then why is it that only the record labels are complaining about file sharing for the most part.? It would actually make sense if it were the musicians complaining about it like Metallica was a few years ago.

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