Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Extending Pop Music Copyrights

Hemos posted more than 9 years ago | from the but-of-course dept.

Entertainment 709

InklingBooks writes "According to TimesOnLine, the UK is considering doubling the copyright term for popular music to 100 years. That means the Beatles' "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me," scheduled to to go into the public domain in 2013, would earn royalties for record companies until 2063."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why not? (4, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745247)

Disney did it... why not let others do it too? Either everyone gets extensions or no one does... it's only fair...

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745270)

Just because everyone is doing it doesn't mean its fair.

Infact, if alot of the larger publishers are pushing for it, it most likely means its not fair.

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745347)

Actually, it does mean it's fair. It just doesn't mean it's right. To be fair (there are at least 8 or 9 seperate meanings, but only one for this context) is to be even-handed in the administration of rules. If we're allowing one sector of the copyright industry to have these extensions, there's an obligation (if we want to be fair) to allow the other sectors that same obligation.

I don't think this is the right course of action, since I think these extensions are problematic at best, but I do think it's fair.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745313)

Umm, actually the USA did it, not Disney (unless Disney corp have become part of the US legislature while I wasn't looking - yeah, I know they lobby loads, but I mean unofficially).

Anyway, if the UK wants to do it differently, they have every right. It's their country, yeah?

Re:Why not? (2, Insightful)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745366)

"Disney" is metaphor/synecdoche/sarcasm referring to the American business-dominated legislature.

Re:Why not? (1, Funny)

MaynardJanKeymeulen (768541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745425)

"Live and let die" isn't a Beatles song, you nitwit!
It's McCartney&Wings.

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

SeventyBang (858415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745326)

yup. More Mickey Mouse legislation.

Why limit it to 100 years?

Let's just make it permanent.

Microsoft gets patents for anything[1] whenever they apply for it. Someone cries because Mickey Mouse might fall into public domain. Now, the Beatles might end up in a freeforall.

Does Jacko still own a substantial portion of the Fab Four? If so, it would be better for the Beatles' music to be available to all. It's better than lining the pockets of a pervert.

[1]"Someday, we'll find Microsoft has patented the alphabet and we'll find ourselves paying royalties every time we sit down at the keyboard." -phil paxton

Re:Why not? (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745382)

> Microsoft gets patents for anything[1] whenever they apply for it. Someone
> cries because Mickey Mouse might fall into public domain. Now, the Beatles
> might end up in a freeforall.

You appear to be confusing patents and copyright. They have different words because they describe different things.

Re:Why not? (0, Offtopic)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745355)

Wacko Jacko is gonna need the extra money [yahoo.com] to prevent bankruptcy [google.com] .

Re:Why not? (1)

earthpig (227603) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745388)

all i can say is
Live and let die!

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745394)

Will they be digitally signed ?

FFS... (1)

Jarr (753820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745248)

Why don't they listen to Larry...

Re:FFS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745401)

Because Larry's argument at the Supreme Court was legally unsound. He made the extremely difficult, and essentially doomed to fail, argument that adding twenty years repeated is not "for a limited time".

If he had, on the other hand, argued that it was against all economic sense then we might have had a better outcome.

(And not that it really matters, but IAAL.)

I'm all for it (not a troll, please read). (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745250)

I know I'll be modded down for this. Yay for groupthink.

As a record store owner, my business faces ruin. CD sales have dropped through the floor. People aren't buying half as many CDs as they did just a year ago. Revenue is down and costs are up. My store has survived for years, but I now face the prospect of bankruptcy. Every day I ask myself why this is happening.

I bought the store about 12 years ago. It was one of those boutique record stores that sell obscure, independent releases that no-one listens to, not even the people that buy them. I decided that to grow the business I'd need to aim for a different demographic, the family market. My store specialised in family music - stuff that the whole family could listen to. I don't sell sick stuff like Marilyn Manson or cop-killer rap, and I'm proud to have one of the most extensive Christian rock sections that I know of.

The business strategy worked. People flocked to my store, knowing that they (and their children) could safely purchase records without profanity or violent lyrics. Over the years I expanded the business and took on more clean-cut and friendly employees. It took hard work and long hours but I had achieved my dream - owning a profitable business that I had built with my own hands, from the ground up. But now, this dream is turning into a nightmare.

Every day, fewer and fewer customers enter my store to buy fewer and fewer CDs. Why is no one buying CDs? Are people not interested in music? Do people prefer to watch TV, see films, read books? I don't know. But there is one, inescapable truth - Internet piracy is mostly to blame. The statistics speak for themselves - one in three discs world wide is a pirate. On The Internet, you can find and download hundreds of dollars worth of music in just minutes. It has the potential to destroy the music industry, from artists, to record companies to stores like my own. Before you point to the supposed "economic downturn", I'll note that the book store just across from my store is doing great business. Unlike CDs, it's harder to copy books over The Internet.

A week ago, an unpleasant experience with pirates gave me an idea. In my store, I overheard a teenage patron talking to his friend.

"Dude, I'm going to put this CD on the Internet right away."

"Yeah, dude, that's really lete [sic], you'll get lots of respect."

I was fuming. So they were out to destroy the record industry from right under my nose? Fat chance. When they came to the counter to make their purchase, I grabbed the little shit by his shirt. "So...you're going to copy this to your friends over The Internet, punk?" I asked him in my best Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry voice.

"Uh y-yeh." He mumbled, shocked.

"That's it. What's your name? You're blacklisted. Now take yourself and your little bitch friend out of my store - and don't come back." I barked. Cravenly, they complied and scampered off.

So that's my idea - a national blacklist of pirates. If somebody cannot obey the basic rules of society, then they should be excluded from society. If pirates want to steal from the music industry, then the music industry should exclude them. It's that simple. One strike, and you're out - no reputable record store will allow you to buy another CD. If the pirates can't buy the CDS to begin with, then they won't be able to copy them over The Internet, will they? It's no different to doctors blacklisting drug dealers from buying prescription medicine.

I have just written a letter to the RIAA outlining my proposal. Suing pirates one by one isn't going far enough. Not to mention pirates use the fact that they're being sued to unfairly portray themselves as victims. A national register of pirates would make the problem far easier to deal with. People would be encouraged to give the names of suspected pirates to a hotline, similar to TIPS. Once we know the size of the problem, the police and other law enforcement agencies will be forced to take piracy seriously. They have fought the War on Drugs with skill, so why not the War on Piracy?

This evening, my daughters asked me. "Why do the other kids laugh at us?"

I wanted to tell them the truth - it's because they wear old clothes and have cheap haircuts. I can't afford anything better for them right now.

"It's because they are idiots, kids", I told them. "Don't listen to them."

When the kids went to bed, my wife asked me, "Will we be able to keep the house, David?"

I just shook my head, and tried to hold back the tears. "I don't know, Jenny. I don't know."

When my girls ask me questions like that, I feel like my heart is being wrenched out of my chest. But knowing that I'm doing the best I can to save my family and my business is some consolation.

Some people are offended by my blacklist system. I may have made my store less popular for pirates and sympathisers, but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to save my industry from destruction. I am inspired by artists such as Metallica that have taken a stand against the powerful pirate lobby. When everyone believes 2 + 2 = 5, to simply state the truth, that 2 + 2 = 4, is a courageous act.

Re:I'm all for it (not a troll, please read). (0, Troll)

metternich (888601) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745282)

That's Nice, but how is doubling copyright lengths going to help?

Re:I'm all for it (not a troll, please read). (1)

Random832 (694525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745309)

This is not on-topic - the issue in this thread is not whether music should be pirated at all, but whether it should be 50 or 100 years or forever before it enters the public domain (after which, for example, other artists can make new works based on it without having to deal with mountains of paperwork)

However, regardless, there is one problem with your proposal

how are you going to identify the pirates? Are you going to require an id card from everyone who buys a cd? what about those not old enough to have a drivers license (16 most places in the US), or even not old enough to have any state-issued id card (14 in my state)

what about people who borrow cds from their friends and rip them?

what about (obviously this is even more illegal than copyright violation, but if you're proposing this as a complete solution to stop the songs from hitting the internet) people who shoplift the CDs and rip them?

what about (the $64M question, that everyone, you included seem to ignore) the real sources - the people within the industry who leak stuff before it's even released?

It's a copy-and-paste troll. [nt] (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745422)

I said No Text!

Re:I'm all for it (not a troll, please read).http: (4, Funny)

njcoder (657816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745329)

Well, I guess now we know those christian music listening, family oriented, clean cut types love to pirate music. So much for family values. Servers you right for targetting your business to such a degenerate crowd.

Re:I'm all for it (not a troll, please read). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745351)

How many times have you posted that? Isn't it about time you updated the dates?

so really, I gotta know... (1)

TheHonestTruth (759975) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745360)

How did he mistakenly spell "leet" when he said it? Did he say "dude this is so L-E-T-E" and you, shaking your head in dismay at his ignorance of proper leet-speak, transcribed it as is? You know, adding [sic] so we knew it wasn't your misspelling?


Re:I'm all for it (not a troll, please read). (3, Insightful)

CleverNickedName (644160) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745371)

There seem to be more and more of this style of funny post appearing on Slashdot.

No matter how hilarious they are (and they are hilarious), they never crack me up as much as the serious, gullible responses they always provoke.

it is almost (4, Funny)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745251)

'strawberry fields forever'

well.. another 50 years feels like forever to me :-)

Re:it is almost (2, Informative)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745327)

Well, maybe a bit OT but, did you know that StrawBerry fields was closed a short time ago?
You can see the note here [yahoo.com]

I find that kind of sad, not because of the beatles song but because it was the home for children without families

A short time ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745345)

In a galaxy near near close.

Re:it is almost (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745349)

Yeah I did know :-)

Well.. it was kinda old. So hopefully the children got a brand new home. Maybe a shiny new yellow submarine or something... kids love adventures :-)

Re:it is almost (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745384)

Are you Scouse by any chance?

Re:it is almost (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745403)

Scouse??? What's that?

Re:it is almost (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745417)

Hehehe, sorry, Scouse [answers.com] is the name they give to the people that live in Liverpool (the place where the Beatles born.

But no, it seems you are not. You must be a big Beatles fan then =o)


Re:it is almost (1)

Scruffeh (867141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745433)

from Liverpool, like the Beatles. Usually wear shell suits and say 'la' and 'calm down' a lot..

Virtuous loops (1)

muxxa (729961) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745340)

"It sees the move as a way of generating more money for the record industry, which would use it to discover new talent."

The self-reinforcing loop between capital and talent would be more efficient as a self reinforcing loop between consumer and talent. Of course that such a system of direct distribution would obsolate the record companies would violate the #1 tenet of neo-liberalism; More Money for Me!

Re:Virtuous loops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745354)

neo-liberalism sounds alot like conservatism. egads!


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745254)

and i voted for gorge bush!

Their families... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745258)

must be having a hard day's life if they still need royalties from the songs.

Bzzzzt.... wrong (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745262)

The copyright they are talking about is on the performance. So, if you could find a Beatles recording of some old song by someone who died 75 years ago, then that would be affected. Please, Please Me doesn't count.

Can we just tax copyright already? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745264)

Why is it that people have to pay land taxes but they don't have to pay copyright taxes? If you own land you are required to pay a tax on it because the state spends a heck of a lot of public resources on protecting that land for you. The same goes for copyright (especially now that copyright violation has become a criminal act in some countries) so why don't the copyright holders have to pay a tax?

silly idea.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745279)

because no one ever built a road to allow access to a copyright.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1)

j0e_average (611151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745301)

BRAVO!!!! Is that an original idea of yours? I absolutely love it! In fact, the taxes should increase over time. Then only the most profitable would not end up in the public domain!

It's been proposed before. (4, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745398)

The most practical form of this proposal is to reduce the automatic copyright period (i.e. the initial period of protection for all copyrightable works) to something like 10 years, and then charge the copyright owner a certain amount to renew the copyright after the initial period. Variations include increasing the renewal cost for every renewal (so that it costs more to renew the copyight for something that's been copyrighted for 50 years than to renew the copyright for something that's been copyrighted for 20 years).

It's a good idea, as it ensures that all works that the owner didn't consider worthwhile renewing the copyright for automatically go into the public domain after a reasonable period of time - which is what copyright was originally intended to be.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (4, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745308)

so why don't the copyright holders have to pay a tax

Simply because that would be insane. For if you ever wrote a poem you'd have to pay for it, which sounds just crap. If you go to a publisher, and sell those poems by twelve a dozen, then he's got income, you've got income, and hey, if you don't live on the moon's dark side, you have to pay taxes after all that, don't you.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (3, Insightful)

surprise_audit (575743) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745312)

That'll never happen - the RIAA/MPAA (and their clones in other countries) have bought legislation to protect "their" IP. They'd never let anyone actually tax them on it as well. And if somehow such a tax *did* get passed, the copyright holders would simply pass it on to the consumers in the form of raised prices and ever-increasing lawsuits.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1)

Netsensei (838071) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745314)

Looks like a really good point. The problem is: who is the rightsholder and who gets the moneys? In reality, it's not very clear. The last thing we want to is to tax the people that make money while some manager profits from the royalities. So some legislation regarding who is who would be in order I guess.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745361)

Yeah, I consider it would be at least bad... the ones who would pay the taxes are going to be the actual artists/inventors or the consumer and [as usual] the big bad companies wont care...

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745357)

Somehow I don't think this would have a very positive effect on for instance open source software.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1, Redundant)

demaria (122790) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745364)

This is accomplished with income tax. The more your copyright is worth, the more money you make, and thus the more money you pay in income tax.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1)

ebuck (585470) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745390)

Please don't suggest this, someone might be listening :)

Seriously, if a tax was added, it woudn't reduce the controls on copyrighted materials, nor would the executives decide to lower thier price points due to the tax. Instead, the government would collect a portion of your quickly dwindling paycheck to distribute to the major record labels, most likely through the hands of the major music associations.

By the time the money passes through the hands of the government, the music association, the record label, and into the artist's pocket (assuming he didn't have to sign this away to get recored in the first place) it will be a pittance. We already have some of the richest corporations in the United States, let's not try to prop them up by taxing the lifeblood out of the citizenry.

A good company should find ways of supporting itself. If technology changes cripple an industry, it really does suck for the established players, but we don't want to be keeping these large corporations alive by governmental life-support.

Consider how many telephone switchboard operators the government would have on its payroll if a telephone tax was implemented to support them after mechanical switching systems came along? What would be the justification of governmental support for employment agencies that supply said operators? How many governmental officials would it take to oversee such an operation, and how long could you trust them to not seek increases in their budgets? Technology can kill sectors of business, but don't cry for the rich because they have the money to shift business strategies.

It's more of a tragedy with the telephone operators, because those laid off didn't have a few billion in the bank to open up new avenues of opportunity.

Re:Can we just tax copyright already? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745427)

That is an absolutely blinding idea and has already earned you a blue dot against my username.

I used to favour a system whereby the fee that would be chargeable to renew a copyright beyond five years from the date of your first royalties payment {or five years from the date of publication if no royalties were ever paid} would be doubled with every six-month extension, and it would rapidly become uneconomical to maintain extended copyrights.

But taxing copyrights as an asset ..... well, that's just absolute pure genius. After all, if you are earning royalties you can afford to pay the tax -- and if you aren't earning royalties then you have to decide whether to dedicate the material to the public domain or risk going bust. And as you said, as a copyright holder you're expecting the law to go out of its way to protect you, so it's only right that you ought to pay for that privilege!

This can be seen ... (3, Interesting)

canwaf (240401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745268)

This can be seen as giving the record companies more money to generate/find new talent /or/

Giving the record companies more money as they rehash the same old talent.

It's amazing how record companies can make themselves sound like poor orphans with no money, food, heating, or shelter.

Re:This can be seen ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745316)

Yeah... Next thing they'll be saying is "Oooh poor record companies! The reason most of the pop music actually sucks is because they don't have enough money.... " and maybe giving them some additional government funds for 'cultural development' or something...

Oh Oh I know! Let's lower the VAT for cd's and dvd's so that the record companies can charge the same price and earn more!

Record Companies? (2, Interesting)

goneutt (694223) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745272)

Michael Jackson bought the rights to the beatles music way back in the 80's. Thats one reason to not buy beatles CD's. Pirate your beatles music, then buy something else by McCartney or Ringo, that way they'll see the profits. Buying beatles music supports a pedofile.

Re:Record Companies? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745298)

Buying beatles music supports a pedofile.

Didn't they find lots of pedofiles on Michael Jackson's hard drive?

Re:Record Companies? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745334)

Heh. I just heard that in the event of a Jacko conviction his appeal will be argued by a bunch of 12 to 14 year old boys. Somehow he thinks they can get him off.

Re:Record Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745376)


Re:Record Companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745337)

Fuhrman, is that you? LOL, seriously. I am a big MJ fan, and I am up in the air on this one. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't - I'll let the courts decide. However, that won't stop me from lighting up the sidewalks when I walk, or doing the cha-cha with the undead. His 80's music is some of the best there is. Nothing will change that.

Re:Record Companies? (1)

wileynet (779280) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745387)

Oh, so you found him guilty? I didn't realize we had a Slashdotter on the jury. Or are you of the 'guilty until proven innocent' camp?

Just because the man is EXTREMELY unusual does not make him a pedophile. Unless, of course, he is found guilty by a jury of his peers. Until then, he is just an accused pedophile.

I'm sure you'd like to argue that he must be guilty because people keep accusing him. But people also keep 'finding' things (fingers, mice, syringes) in their food. Maybe you hadn't heard, but accusing people/companies of things in order to get a settlement or some other form of financial gain is big business in the U.S.

Re:Record Companies? (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745397)

When you buy Beatles-records, the profit goes to the band (or rather, the company they set up, Apple Corps). What MJ bought was the right to make remakes of Beatles-songs. He doesn't get any profits from the songs performed by the Beatles.

Because... (5, Insightful)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745275)

...everyone knows that unless the Beatles continue to make money from recordings made fifty years ago, they'll have to quit music and get day jobs. Then society won't get any new Beatles music, and then where will we be?

It seems to me that copyrights are turning from a temporary privilege into an actual property right, despite all indications that only a self-interested minority of our society wants that. So when are copyright holders going to pay property tax on their holdings?

Re:Because... (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745400)

Except the beatles don't get any money for their music any more. Michael Jackson does.

He own's the rights to the beatles music.

"It seems to me that copyrights are turning from a temporary privilege into an actual property right, despite all indications that only a self-interested minority of our society wants that. So when are copyright holders going to pay property tax on their holdings?"

Damn straight. This whole "democracy" thing would work if it actually listned to the majority of the people instead of the rich people.

Re:Because... (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745431)

Michael Jackson owns enough of a percentage of whatever controls the Lennon/McCartney catalog. Paul still has a big chunk of it, and does make quite a bit of money. He and Yoko have been buying as much of it as they can for years.

IIRC, which I may not be doing, George's music is under Harrisongs, which is independant of Lennon/McCartney, and Jackson owns nothing of.

Re:Because... (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745406)

But surely getting revenue from their existing music is what keeps them from getting off their bums and recording new music.

Or at least it would, if Michael Jackson hadn't bought the rights to all of them.

But seriously, I don't really agree with the principal that you should be able to have one great idea / song / whatever and get revenue from it forever. That just promotes laziness & greed. A patent or copyright should be granted for long enough to recover your costs, relax for a while, and come up with a new song / invention. If you haven't come up with one by then, then you should go out and get a real job.

(it should be noted that i have no musical talent, and at 29 and with 4 kids, i'm unlikely to come up with any ideas that are going to make me rich, so there may be an element of envy in the previous paragraph :)

surprised ? (1)

giampy (592646) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745280)

I'd like to launch a slashdot poll to see how many are really surprised about this ...

seriuosly, did anyone expect this NOT to happen ??

I don't see the point... (1)

PrivateDonut (802017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745284)

unless there will be payouts from the record industry (well, either way this is true), it will only be promoting the mono-culture that is forming.

It's the Peter Pan connection! (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745287)

Wasn't it Michael Jackson who owns the rights to the Beatles songs?

He could sure use the money, if not for damage claims then to keep Neverland running.

On top of that, there's ALREADY a special UK law that means copyright to "Peter Pan" will NEVER run out (no kidding, it really exists!).

Coincidence? I THINK NOT!!

Re:It's the Peter Pan connection! (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745331)

This special copyright provision also applies to the song "Happy Birthday".

I used to moderate the uk forums for a large multinational games console maker who doesn't make an operating system or have anything to do with Italian plumbers. Of the many rules we had to follow, deleting any lyrics from Happy Birthday was one of them. They just couldn't take the risk of being had for copyright infringement.

I'm almost ashamed to be human that such circumstances exist.

Re:It's the Peter Pan connection! (1)

-brazil- (111867) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745409)

This special copyright provision also applies to the song "Happy Birthday".

Not true. That's just a prefectly normal copyright [snopes.com] which will run out eventually. In theory. Unless certain US politicians bought by Disney manage to get their way.

Peter Pan, on the other hand, is in fact already protected by copyright FOREVER, at least in the UK. But there's a good reason for this: the royalty fees go to a children's hospital [gosh.org] .

Pure Genius (5, Insightful)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745288)

That changes everything - it'll stop illegal downloading at a stroke!

Misplaced priorities (5, Insightful)

otter42 (190544) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745289)

"Bands like Coldplay will make enough money for their company to help them discover around 50 or 100 bands."

Excuse me? EXCUSE ME??? The point of a band is to make money for its label???

What about the label paying its bands living wages? Or does that just not count?

What about using the internet to develop and promote new bands? That doesn't count either?

Thank god I live in France where my right to download CDs and movies is now protected by "activist judges".

So cover versions forever? (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745293)

So the content distribution business will churn cover versions forever and we'll forget what a song writer is?

Seems to be a strong disincentive to write new songs because the distribution business finds it cheaper to repackage songs they already own! Why pay a writer?

Or will it become like art museums, where every generation goes to see the Picasso or the Turner and the only new art is weird art that isn't in a Turner style.

Imagine the future: "and here we have the work by the famous artist Kylie who lived two centuries ago and was inspired by the drama of her earlier career as a professional actress".

Sigh... (2, Insightful)

bobbis.u (703273) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745295)

Why do governments feel the need to continually prop up the record industry? Its primary business model is clearly doomed in the long run, so why delay the inevitable?

Let's face it, unless the indsutry starts embracing the future and changing the way they do business, it's only a matter of time before they are rendered obsolete by self-publication and internet distribution by artists themselves.

Re:Sigh... (4, Insightful)

ssj_195 (827847) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745438)

Why do governments feel the need to continually prop up the record industry?

Why retroactive? (5, Insightful)

RPoet (20693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745296)

Why must copyright extensions always be retroactive? Are we afrad that The Beatles won't write Love Me Do in 1963 if he didn't expect royalties for a hundred years? Wait, that doesn't even make sense. The copyright deal back then was given, and works were created as intended; the incentive worked. So why would we need to give a guy in 1963 more incentive to create?

Catchy advertisements (2, Funny)

rockspider (823539) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745380)

One advantage of this is that it will be a little more difficult for crappy adds to use beatles tunes to advertise their products. Imagine "strawberry fields forever" to a streets icecream

What the? (5, Insightful)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745297)

I am FUCKING furious.

If this goes into force, anything you hear today is unlikely to be returned to the public domain within the lifetime of your GRANDCHILDREN. This is completely fucking unacceptable.

Copyright is already 30 years too long. These media cartels have stolen our public domain and culture, and are renting it back to us in perpetuity.

I'm off to write to my MP.


Re:What the? (3, Informative)

NetNifty (796376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745343)

Same, this is absurd, the rich don't need to get richer. UK people can find their MPs here [writetothem.com] .

Re:What the? (0, Flamebait)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745367)

>These media cartels have stolen our public domain and culture

No, they bought the rights to distribute it from the creators of the works. What you want is irrelevant. You're free to create your own work and not sell it, although apparantly some posters here are suggesting you have to pay some organisation to own the copyright to it. Bizarrely, this is considered more fair than you just owning it outright!

Re:What the? (2, Insightful)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745399)

Your music is yours forever, nothing short of amnesia can take it from you.

Granting a hundred year monopoly on having others performing derivative works is a completely different thing, and there should be a good reason for requiring the goverment police to forbid others to sing a song (written by you) that they like.

Copyright protection does not equal 'owning'. And why should someone be able to forbid others to use his ideas ? Should Newton be able to restrict how his ideas on calculating gravity be used ?

Re:What the? (0, Troll)

TrappedByMyself (861094) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745423)

So when you scroll to the bottom of your Slashdot page and see "© 1997-2005 OSTG", does that also make you fucking furious?

What about this song... (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745300)


It is the greed that never ends...
It just goes on and on my friends...
One day the recording industry started doing it...
and now they'll forever continue doing it because...

whoops... now im gonna get sued.

How can this be beneficial to anyone? (3, Insightful)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745304)

...except the record companies, of course. 100 years is more than likely beyond the lifespan of any given musician, so they can't exactly hide behind the 'it's about the poor artists' on this one. Heck, the Beatles are already halfway there, any bets on whether McCartney will see 2063?

Artistic protection! (3, Insightful)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745306)

Artistic protection! For artists that compose their first evergreen in the womb, write it down immediately after being dried and live to a hundred.

What a load of manure. Like record companies don't have enough money already. And as if classical music is easier to compose and hence needs merely 50 years.

Corporate earnings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745311)

A singer isn't going to live for 100years + the age they were when they made the track. This is not copyright protection for the benefit of the muscian with the distributors making money from distribution, but blatantly for the benefit of the corporates and to the disadvantage of the public. One has to ask oneself - why would a law like this be passed? Politicians have become too corrupt.

What The Fuck Is The Justification? (5, Insightful)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745321)

Copyright was intended to temporarily reward the artist, to encourage them to produce art.

(s/innovator/innovations/ but it's all the same).

Artists do not commonly live for 100 years. Especially not 100 years from when they produce the work that gets them the most praise.

Even if the artist got 100% of the royalties from the copyright, extending it past the artist's natural lifetime is meaningless.

In addition, even compensating the artist for their entire natural lifetime is counter-productive, since it removes the driving force (according to traditional wisdom, above) behind their production or art. If you're singing to eat, then giving you all the money you'll ever need reduces your need to sing. This is the exact opposite of what copyright is intended for.

Finally, artists commonly don't even get 10% of the profits from their work. Why? Because the copyright is usually owned by a large corporation, which had no hand whatsoever in the creative, artistic work. They simply publicise the artist and distribute the art, and reap 90%+ of the profits from it.

Given this state of affairs, extending copyright does nothing but feed more money to already overcompensated multinationals, while either shutting out the originating artist or (if they own their own copyright and get all the profits) discouraging them from producing further art.

This is fucking obvious. Why don't people see it?

Or are they just blinded by all those dollar bills the entertainment industry keeps piling over their heads?

Re:What The Fuck Is The Justification? (1, Flamebait)

shitdrummer (523404) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745385)

If the large music labels want to make more money, perhaps they could start by cutting some costs. The Foo Fighters built a bloody recording studio to record their latest album!

Couldn't they find a decent enough studio that was, oh, I don't know.... BUILT!!! There's a couple hundred grand savings right there.


Re:What The Fuck Is The Justification? (2, Insightful)

Shads (4567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745416)

> This is fucking obvious. Why don't people see it?

They *DO* see it, however they don't have billions of dollars to lobby with.

Love (4, Funny)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745322)

Love love me doe
I act like a ho
You'll pay me some mo
so pleeeaaaheaaheaheaaaaasssee

Give me doe !!

Gee, I bet this will be popular here! (1)

cyberman11 (581822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745323)

Personally, I'd like to see copyright terms reduced to seven years. As far as I know, IP producers demand payback on investment in at most 3-5 years. Giving royalties much beyond that timeframe will NOT result in any more IP production, at least at any company I've ever heard of. In a way, I think long copyright terms are a kickback scam: the government gives huge royalty collection rights to IP holders, and then gets a kickback in the form of taxes collected from IP holders' royalty income. As far as I can tell, long copyright terms do nothing for voters. Hopefully voters will rebel soon in the voting booth.

Could be good some... (1)

hnile_jablko (862946) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745325)

IMagine in the future being the progeny of Rick Astley or Culture Club.... somewhere a culture is going to realize the raw talent and appreciate their music..... and should the descendents (great band) of these 'artists' go unrewarded because the law limited the time their family could own the rights of their music? P-cha!!!!

Wouldn't be so bad, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745328)

Very few of the record companies who would stand to make any money from extended copyrights are UK or even EU owned. Essentially our government intends to change the law so that UK consumers can continue to send revenue out of the country to the big five record companies. This will apparently encourage these big, mostly US based companies to seek out new talent here in the UK, and not in any way simply produce yet more US music in the UK charts.

I expect Ms. Jowell doesn't watch much Top of the Pops on a Friday evening and has probably missed the fact that bands such as Coldplay are very much the exception to the rule. They've managed to produce a sound that is acceptable to US audiences, so their record company is going to invest a couple of million dollars into them as a band. However the vast majority of UK music either doesn't come from within the UK or is limited to the UK market only.

The record companies arn't interested in nurturing UK talent; they can make far more money producing boy bands, Brittney Spears knockoffs and Pop [Star|Idol] "singers" who can knock out a few cheap songs and produce a nice little return. But spending millions on a single UK band? Forget it, they're not interested.

So.... (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745330)

so if I am in the UK and I have a song on a CD that is over 50 years old- can I freely distribute it on my website? Is the actual recording itself in the public domain- or just the song- meaning that I can record my own version (with my stellar voice) and not have to pay royalties?

Re:So.... (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745379)

Not sure UK specific laws
However with most countries, it just means you can now record your own version of the song with the paying the writer(s) money. Also you could produce your own sheet music of it and even copywrite that.
Look at all the stuff from Bach, Mozart, etc on how it is treated.

Oh, for god's sake! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745336)

How much money do they make from performances of music that was released in 1955 anyway? And does the record industry need so much extra money? Seems to be doing quite nicely as it is.

Why would the record companies use this extra revenue "to look for new talent and nurture it."? They base the amount of money they invest in this on future projected profits. Will they really spend the extra income on looking for more talent rather than shareholder dividends? Is the cost to the public domain really worth it? Would it be better to allow up and coming bands to release covers of classic songs?

Micahel Jackson! (1)

Natchswing (588534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745341)

> That means the Beatles' "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me," scheduled to to go into the public domain in 2013, would earn royalties for record companies until 2063.

Michael Jackson owns the publishing rights [straightdope.com] to a nice chunk of beatles music. If Michael plans on holding out for a few more child molestation lawsuits before he dies he really needs that revenue source to be maintained.

Think of the children! If this musical copyright expires there will be no money for the children to extract from Michael.

  1. Buy Beatles Album
  2. Sue Michael Jackson
  3. Profit!

Hurting the copyright means hurting Michael Jackson means hurting the children!

Re:Micahel Jackson! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745353)

Apparently he borrowed against those assets, they have been seized for defaulting on a loan.

Expensive? (1)

pahles (701275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745342)

From the article: Purnell, who will outline his plans in a speech next week, said: "The music industry is a risky business and finding talent and artists is expensive. There is a view that long-term earners are needed so that the record companies can plough money back into unearthing new talent."

I'm sorry, but paying several of this new talents millions of dollars for every song they screech is expensive. BTW: I haven't seen much real talent since the Beatles split up.

James Purnell (2, Informative)

jgritz (858142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745348)

You may want to contact the wonderful minister for "uncreative industries", James Purnell [labour.co.uk] and let him know what you think...

Who is stealing from whom? (1)

Kaorimoch (858523) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745358)

First the companies complain that the public is stealing their work.

Then the companies steal the public domain right out from under our feet.

Pot - Kettle - Black ?

hmmm (1)

manavendra (688020) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745370)

While one can argue the cost of creativity, or a product that enriches other people's lives, music corporations seem to have taken the idea a bit too far in their attempt to milk the songs for as much money as they can. One would wonder what research is this based upon? Most songs, if not all, would not have a shelf life of more than a few months (if that), and there are only a few gems that go beyond that. At the same time, there will be songs that are timeless (or considered timeless by a certain generation), which will see a number of repeat buyers, or buyers that are created as a 'spin-off' effect. The clear argument then, is the longevity, after which an artists' work is considered 'paid off', or has generated enough revenue (or the revenue has dried off), for the companies to let go if it and show their collective generosity by making it available for the masses for free. I think when they put up the 50 year term initially, it must have seemed long enough. They certainly didnt expect the market and technology to fluctuate so much, and the rapid changes and the ease of reproduction has made them rethink their strategies. But then, conversely, what music was recorded 100 years ago that ppl still listen to? (i can see a flood of posts enlightening me!) So basically, the recording companies are trying to ensure royalties are paid as long as possible

Wise move... (2, Insightful)

mscheid (318333) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745373)

considering all the big english hits are at least 30 years old by now ]:)

thanks for the examples (1)

Tedium Unleased (764661) | more than 9 years ago | (#12745381)

i almost went to read the article to try to figure out just what a pop song is

This is recording rights only. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12745410)

This is about extending the recording rights only. The actual copyright on the song is already protected for 70 years after the artists death.

Why the fuck should musicians be repeatedly paid for the same piece of work. No-one outside the entertainment industry is. If I make a table I can't demand a payment for everytime someone uses it so why should a musician get paid for 100 years everytime someone listens to a song that only took a short while to create. (And you will be paying everytime ou lisen to it if the music industry gets their way.)

If musicians want to make money they should do what musicians have done for thousands of years and play music. People will come to here them play, recordings should just be advertising for the live event and traded freely. If someone wants to commercially exploit a work (say in an advert) then the artist should be compensated but other than that they should earn a living actually working for a living like everyone else, not just making a few recordings in their teens and living off the profits for the rest of their lives.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?