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
    misanthropic humanist, 26 Jan 2007 @ 7:07am

    Re: Rob is right, Mike is wrong

    Liberty Dave, I'm afraid it is you who are in error.

    Since when does the passage of time suddenly make it where you no longer should be allowed to get paid for something you created?

    Since you never had that right in the first place. Nobody is going to dis-"allow" you from trying to make money on your creation. They are just not going to issue you with a state granted limited right to coerce others by force of law to pay you.

    Why do you people care so much if someone makes money on something THEY CREATED?!? It's not hurting anyone

    Actually beyond a point it is. If the terms of copyright are too long it's hurting society by impeding progress, which is the antithesis of the original purpose of copyright.

    Your faux moralising leaves a bad taste in my mouth because I speak as a creative person who has published works on which I've made money and collected royalities. I still make money this way. So this is my considered and informed opinion. I dare say I'm one of the few people who have an opinion on this subject that is qualified to make it. So, go away and research what copyright actually *IS* before moralising on the supposed rights of those who are creative, I don't need you to speak for me.

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