UK Government May Extend Copyright, Despite Saying It Wouldn't
from the well,-how-about-that dept
At first, it appeared the government was going to accept this reasoning, and rejected the idea of extending copyright on performances. However, these sorts of things are never over when it comes the recording industry's lobbying efforts -- and some believe that they've convinced the government to change its mind and revisit copyright extension. How? By playing the sympathy card, focusing on the fact that "performers who were reaching retirement were being deprived of revenue from popular recordings, just when they need the money the most."
This is the "welfare" argument. It's the argument that copyright is some sort of welfare system designed to keep paying musicians for a single performance they did 50 plus years ago. Unfortunately, that's not what copyright is for. It is merely an incentive for the creation of content. If that copyright was enough to get the musicians to perform 50 years ago, then it served its purpose. Extending the copyright after the fact makes absolutely no sense. The fact that some musicians won't still be getting royalties from these performances seems meaningless. They knew the terms of the deal when they did it: they got royalties for 50 years. They had 50 years to save money and do other work to build a nest egg -- just like every other worker in the world. What they're basically asking for is the equivalent of any normal worker going back to his employer from 50 years ago and demanding an additional salary for that work. There is simply no reason to support such efforts.