by Mike Masnick
Mon, Mar 30th 2009 3:15pm
Following the recent debates on copyright extension, there's a bit of good news. It appears that the Council of the European Union rejected yet another attempt to extend the copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 95 years. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like this is (by any means) the end of such proposals. In fact, it's been made clear that this rejection is just a step in the process towards copyright extension. Of course, a bunch of recording industry lobbyists are complaining about how unfair this is, but they fail to explain how it could possibly be seen as fair to retroactively change the deal made with the public to take away the public domain. The entire purpose of copyright is to put in place a limited-time monopoly to act as incentive to create new works. Obviously, that incentive worked, or the content wouldn't have been created. Unfortunately, the recording industry now wants people to believe that copyright is some sort of welfare system for musicians, whereby they should continue getting paid for work they did over 50 years ago. It's a total distortion of the purpose of copyright law -- and one that will cost consumers dearly, and pay musicians little, but enrich the recording industry tremendously. Yet, because of some sob stories about how musicians need this, politicians across Europe have been leaping on board.
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