Martin Kretschmer has a post up at the 1709 blog discussing the recent wholesale seizure
of the public domain in Europe, and how it not only won't help most musicians (which is the basis for passing it), but will cost the public over 1 billion euros
, based on the EU Commission's own figures:
It is not surprising that many performers’ organisations and collecting societies support the Directive. They do not have to carry the costs – which will exceed EURO 1 billion to the general public (based on the Commission’s own figures – see calculations in Joint Academic Statement issued by Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM, Bournemouth University), the Centre for Intellectual Property & Information Law (CIPIL, Cambridge University), the Institute the Institute for Information Law (IViR, University of Amsterdam), and the Max Planck Competition and Tax Law (Munich)
72 percent of the financial benefits from term extension will accrue to record labels. Of the 28 percent that will go to artists, most of the money will go to superstar acts, with only 4 percent benefiting those musicians mentioned in the European Council press release as facing an "income gap at the end of their life times". Many performers also do not appear to understand that the proposal would lead to a redistribution of income from living to dead artists.
In an interview with the NY Times yesterday, I said: "This is a dreadful day for musicians and consumers. Policymakers are schizophrenic, speaking a language of change and innovation, but then respond to lobbying by extending the right which gave rise to the problem in the first place. This only entrenches a cynical attitude toward copyright law and brings it into further disrepute."
It's really amazing what a disaster this is. It doesn't help most artists. The ones it does help don't need it. And the real beneficiaries are the major record labels who have failed to adapt. And the public loses out in a big, bad way.