Reasonable Anger In Europe Over Ridiculous Copyright Extension
from the your-public-domain-is-being-seized dept
The thing that amazes me about all of this is how the supporters of this law don't realize how much harm they're doing to their own cause. When stories like this come out, there's so much anger directed at the system, the politicians and the law that it makes people respect copyright law a hell of a lot less. If the industry still believes that they just need to "educate" people, the education people are getting is that copyright law is a joke that serves no purpose other than to protect the interests of a few big companies.
I’ve written at length about this before so I won’t go over the arguments again here but study after study has shown that longer copyright terms do not protect creativity; they harm it. And yet copyright terms keep growing, in the face of the evidence.
This is part of an ongoing pattern - a more cynical person might even call it a campaign - in which copyright will be extended until it never expires. In 15 years or so, you can expect a renewed campaign to extend the copyright on sound recordings to 95 years, matching the term in the US. After that, we’ll see pressure to extend terms further, so that recording artists receive the same protection - life plus 70 years - as composers and lyricists.
Richmond, nicely, contrasts the laughably false claims by the IFPI that copyright extension benefits artists, by pointing to the upcoming termination rights battle in the US, to show that the major labels and their trade groups (RIAA/IFPI) clearly do not have the artists' best interests in mind, and it's ridiculous for them to pretend they do:
It’s expected, according to Rolling Stone, that the record labels will argue that these artists were “work for hire” and therefore not entitled to their rights back. Labels like to talk about the rights of artists until the artists’ interests conflict with their own. How will the IFPI spin this argument? We’ll see soon enough.The real shame is that the EU politicians, who approved this, will never actually have to answer for their seizure of the public domain, and for the fact that they reneged on a deal which the public made with content creators with no compensation. Those who voted for copyright extension -- in the face of widespread evidence that it does nothing to help artists and plenty to hold back culture -- should be seriously ashamed. They've sold out the public, who they're supposed to represent.