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
    Enrico Suarve, 26 Jan 2007 @ 8:08am


    The reason why it IS an incentive to create new works, is because of the monopoly the creator gets on his/her creations.

    So an incentive to create art is monopoly and money? Wow - do you not think that kind of debases the entire music industry (artists included)?

    Does this include the artists who sing songs about "fuck the government" and run around preaching how governments and corporations are crooks? Or are they only being crooks when they are granting monopolies to other people?

    You don't own a person's creative works. The creator of those works does. Get over it.

    And I'm just guessing here that the only people whose work gets to be classed as creative are musicians and the rest of entertainment industry?

    So as per the software posts creating a piece of software isn't creative, nor is carving a block of wood, designing a car or *creation* of any kind of product?

    Can you guess what my problem with that hugely egotistical piece of garbage is?

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