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
    Rob, 26 Jan 2007 @ 10:05am

    Copyright

    Actually, we are specifically talking about music.
    The article is about music and how it related to copyright.
    Where the argument gets muddled is bringing every single industry in and comparing it.

    It doesn't matter what went into creating the song.
    The terms are clear cut.
    When a song is sold someone is paid. If the story was about just the 50 years, fine. Then 50 years could be too long.

    But you open the article insulting musicians(Welfare) and finding other ways for them to earn money. ITunes sold a billion tracks for 99 cents. They weren't all from today.

    Do you really think that musicians are being paid what they were promised to begin with?

    How many musicians do you personally know with big royalty checks?

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