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.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Donaldson v. Beckett (1774), 26 Jan 2007 @ 8:38am

    Donaldson v. Beckett

    Proceedings in the Lords on the Question of Literary Property, February 4 through February 22, 1774


    Mr. Baron Eyre first rose and delivered his Opinion, with the Reasons whereon that opinion was founded, in substance as follows:


    The baron next proceeded to brand an exclusive appropriation of literary works, with the epithets of "a monopoly," against every kind of which the statute of James I had sufficiently provided. Yet the baron contended, that even monopolies, in I some cases, were allowable, but then the state had taken care to allow them only for a convenient time.

    There is some doubt as to whether Donaldson v. Beckett was reported in his majesty's former American colonies in time to influence the framing of 1789. But there is no doubt that Lord Eyre's 'convenient time' refers to a 'limited time'.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.