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 @ 11:44am

    Copyright does not apply to chairs

    Mike says:" All creations are based on inspirations of other works, and you are saying that everyone needs to pay for that inspiration? That's an awful solution and would guarantee no creativity."

    That's a bit of a stretch, Mike. You must be laughing when you type this stuff just to get some responses. I don't think you mean it.

    Last time I checked, there's no shortage of music in the world.
    So I don't think anything would guarantee "no creativity."

    Chairs are a physical object. Music is an intellectual property.
    The terms of sale are different.

    I love how every other industry gets brought into a single topic.
    None of them apply.

    If you buy a song, the creator is promised a percentage of the sale. You can always write your own song if the idea troubles you.

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