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'That's All Right' Soon To Enter UK Public Domain

timothy posted about 10 years ago | from the and-that's-all-right dept.

Music 519

jwlidtnet writes "Reuters is reporting that Elvis's "That's All Right"--currently an unlikely hit in Great Britain--is soon to enter the public domain in that country, followed by other milestones of popular music as Britain's fifty-year protection period comes to an end. Naturally, rights owners are outraged, regarding it as a "wakeup call" for Britain to adopt something similar to the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, to end this "discrepancy between the United States and the EU." Copyright law uniformity has of course been a sore issue in recent years, with the exportation of "DMCA-alike" legislation raising the ire of many. Uniformity on an issue this divisive might be difficult to achieve politically."

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Or... (5, Insightful)

Draconix (653959) | about 10 years ago | (#9729804)

Perhaps they could encourage the US to conform to more sane standards that benefit the people instead of the big corporations who want to milk a dead man's music for all the profit they can get out of it.

What I find really scary... (4, Insightful)

blorg (726186) | about 10 years ago | (#9729852)

...is the tone of the article - it doens't even consider that original idea that copyright might be about balance, a privilege accorded with the intent of fostering creation. Rather, it is simply accepted that the natural expiration of these copyrights, which the holders knew would happen, is somehow causing a property loss to the current holders.

Imagine if you obtained a 50 year lease, and then at the end of those 50 years, the owner wanted the property back. Would you moan to the government about extending your term unilaterally, with no other compensation to the actual owner?

Re:What I find really scary... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729882)

>Imagine if you obtained a 50 year lease, and
>then at the end of those 50 years, the owner
>wanted the property back

Firstly, copyright is not strictly a lease, its more a legally enforced priviledge which can be licensed by the rights holder. IPR is a bit of an accident which has snowballed from the Berne Convention back in 68. Secondly, there is a preceptual problem between Anglo-Saxon and European view of copyright, with the first considering it more from the economic aspecit (promoting the advancement of science/arts) whereas the EU approach it from the moral rights of authors. Thirdly, if you look at modern legislation, say the EU sui genesis Database rights, then you can see they encourage people to sustain their efforts. 15 years renewable everytime you validate/updade the database.

The practical reality (if you look at software) is that there is a definite shelf life for works ... I suspect that fewer that 0.1% of stuff created has any economic value past a generation ... so there are arguments that government policy should be against rent-seeking behaviour on those accumulating back-catalogs. However, there are so many vested interests in the entertainment industries that it is impossible coming to broad consensus.

LL

Re:What I find really scary... (5, Insightful)

PatientZero (25929) | about 10 years ago | (#9729975)

I wholeheartedly agree. The argument carries a sickening sense of entitlement.

Jamieson added, "The end of the sound recording copyright on the explosion of British popular music in the late '50s and '60s, not just the Beatles, but many other British artists, is only a short period away."

It's as if he believes the Beatles were thinking, "If I didn't expect the government to extend copyright terms by 2010, I'd seriously rethink my career."

The premise of copyrights encouraging innovation and creativity is completely at odds with retroactive extension. And 70 years past the death of the artist is simply insanity. I don't expect my employer to continue paying my salary to my hairs after I die. Of course, it's no surprise that the corporate holders of copyrights (e.g. Disney through Sonny Bono) are the ones raising the stink.

On the other hand, I'd really like to see Elvis earn enough money for a flight back from Alpha Centauri.

Re:What I find really scary... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9730007)

> I don't expect my employer to continue paying my salary to my hairs after I die.

Your employer pays salary to your hairs?

Re:What I find really scary... (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | about 10 years ago | (#9730036)

That's not really a very good analogy, unless you consider society to be the sole owner of any created non-physical works (ideas, songs, etc). I know that some people do, and that they make some quite strong arguments in their favour (building on what has come before, owing your education and inspiration to all those around you, and them to others, and so on, etc), but I personally can't quite make the leap to thinking of anything that I create being the property of everyone, with me having no rights over it at all.

I see copyright as a reasonable compromise - let me say who can and cannot copy stuff I create, for a limited period of time, so that I may profit from it. Like money or loathe it, we all need it - our modern way of living just doesn't lend itself to a pure barter economy.

I'm not leasing anything from (or to) anyone when I create a copyrightable work. I am entering into an agreement with society, that people may not copy what I did verbatim for some period of time, so that I may (attempt to) earn sufficient money to make my living creating more things, such that everyone benefits. I get to live and do what I enjoy, you get to enjoy the fruits of my labours.

I agree that copyright holders should not be granted essentially indefinite extensions. I also think that the period should be different for different types of work - there seems little benefit to society to opening up 50 (or even 10) year old computer code for copying, for example. I don't think that that invalidates the concept of copyright, however; I can't see how else the creators of such works could be compensated if not for copyright. Musicians can tour, but authors, etc? Patronage would work for a small number of creators, but then only the truly exceptional and truly lucky would be able to create full-time. Sure, some people would do so, no matter the hardships they had to endure (and I consider them to be truly exceptional). I still think that the nett result would be a drastic decrease in the number doing so, however, and the amount of stuff being created. How that would enrich society escapes me.

Re:Or... (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 10 years ago | (#9729862)

Not sure the article is factually right. Part of the reason for thE Sonny Bono act was to harmonize with the EU. I believe Germany and most of the other states are author's life + 70 years. + 50 years is the minimum allowed by the Berne convention.

Blame the convention, no the US--before Sonny Bono act, we were +50.

Re:Or... (1)

Andy_R (114137) | about 10 years ago | (#9729915)

You believed the RIAA?

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 10 years ago | (#9729889)

Well, I hardy think it's fair to fault members of corporations for wanting to protect their money making assets. People working in the recording industry have as much of a right to lobby for rights as you have to lobby against them. I don't see anything wrong with that. These laws do, after all, benefit some people. It's not like corporations are just big evil moneymaking machines. They are run by people just like any other business, and those people have needs and desires. If people in these corporations command more influence in congress, it is only because they care about it more.

I have to admit, though, that the really long copyrights in the US are a bit unreasonable. How long do these people need to own the work before it makes them enough money. Patents only last 1/5 as long, and that amount of time seems more than sufficient to recoup the typically much larger R&D costs associated with patents.

Re:Or... (4, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | about 10 years ago | (#9730005)

People working in the recording industry have as much of a right to lobby for rights as you have to lobby against them.

Sure, but I'd prefer it if they didn't lobby for retrospective rights. Elvis' songs were produced 50 years ago with the full knowledge that 50 years was all the copyright protection they got. Now that the 50 years is almost up the publishers are trying to extend the copyright.

It's as annoying as those people who build their houses next to airports and then complain about the noise. They knew what they were getting into when they built there!

If copyright extension acts only affected works produced after the date the act went into effect then I think there would be fewer complaints from the rest of us.

Re:Or... (4, Funny)

E_elven (600520) | about 10 years ago | (#9729896)

What do you mean, 'dead'?

Incentive (5, Funny)

bugbread (599172) | about 10 years ago | (#9729809)

If this recording enters the public domain, what incentive will Elvis have to produce new music?

Re:Incentive (1)

pepeperes (731972) | about 10 years ago | (#9729815)

Ghost teenage girls, you insensitive clod?

I'm dead (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729817)

I'm dead, i'm all dried up, awhahuh..... ohhhhhhh oohhhhhhhh yea!

Re:Incentive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729821)

But, won't someone think of [his] children????? Why should they have to work and produce something of substance?

Re:Incentive (1)

scmason (574559) | about 10 years ago | (#9729873)

ONe did. Baby Jacko.

Re:Incentive (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729959)

Actually, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie did not produce any kids.

Michael Jackson's second wife gave birth to his first son and daughter: Prince Michael Jackson, Jr. and Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.

Michael Jackson has not revealed the identity of mother of his second son, Prince Michael Jackson II.

Re:Incentive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729838)

Today's musicians will never survive, if they have to compete with the products of 50 years ago.

Re:Incentive (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729859)

Only because they suck, like Busted, Green Day, The hives, the white stripes.... and any other piece of crap "modern" group you care to mention.

These idiots dont have the goods to compete with.

Re:Incentive (1)

scmason (574559) | about 10 years ago | (#9729878)

Whats with mentioning all the good bands? Or did i miss the point because I am drunk?

Re:Incentive (2, Insightful)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | about 10 years ago | (#9730020)

Funny comparison, I would have pegged the Stripes minimalist two piece rock as seeming more in place fifty years ago than today. Of course, fifty years from now people will cherry pick all the good stuff out and make this look like a golden age of music as well.

Re:Incentive (4, Informative)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | about 10 years ago | (#9729967)

If this recording enters the public domain, what incentive will Elvis have to produce new music?
As a Memphian, I hope the answer is "none." We already get invaded twice a year (once for Elvis Birth Week, and once for Elvis Death Week with Maximum Candlelight Vigil Ceremony Love), that's plenty. Last week we had the additional influx of tourists bleating about "That's All Right's" 50th anniversary and the worldwide coverage it brought. It's actually rather interesting that nobody mentioned that a copyright was lapsing - particularly on that song - until after the fact...

Anyway, if it turns out that Elvis is still alive, and he records a duet with Tupac or Biggie, my head is going to explode. No more incentives for Elvis to produce new music, please :)

Re:Incentive (1)

TastyWords (640141) | about 10 years ago | (#9730063)

There *is* someone who continues to have music produced....Mr. Hendrix.

But I think that's more a situation of five or six people holding rights to various types of rights and it's only until everything balances is material released in some little bundle.

I hope the governments don't give in (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729813)

Okay I wanna know if there is ANY possible justification for this except PURE
GREED. And I don't mean the good kind of greed that drives competition,
innovation, and creation of new music.

Elvis is dead. He doesn't need the money. His estate run by spongers sure
doesn't need it. When he wrote the song, in fact, copyright law was less
draconian than it is now. So he certainly wasn't factoring in a copyright
extensions when he wrote the song "Hey, I wonder if I should write a song
today. Well, if they don't extend copyright in 2005, I won't, I have better
things to do."

Shouldn't copyright be used to *encourage new music*?? This is just sick. I
wish they would just STOP extending copyright. I wish the governments around
the world would just say, OKAY YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH.

I wish they would view copyright as an *exchange* between the copyright holder
and the public, and not just some formality that the record labels have to go
through every few years to keep extending it.

Can you think of any other situation where you can just go up to the
government and say, hey, I'd like to extract money from society for another 20
years?

Re:I hope the governments don't give in (4, Informative)

kuroth (11147) | about 10 years ago | (#9729892)

> When he wrote the song

Elvis didn't write That's All Right. It was written by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup.

The article is talking about the copyright to Elvis's recording of the tune. The tune itself is presumably already in the public domain in Great Britain.

Re:I hope the governments don't give in (5, Insightful)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | about 10 years ago | (#9729932)

Well, copyright holders should be given the choice when their works are released to the public:

-You can have iron-clad digital restrictions on your media making it absolutely impossible for end-users to do anything other than what's explicitly approved. If you choose this route, your max copyright term is 8 years, then it's completely public domain.

-You can ease up the restrictions, allow some free use (academic, reviews and the like), device and timeshifting, backup copies, downloadable content, etc. Then your copyright is good for 30 years.

-You can tell the public that they can do whatever they want with your creation, so long as no money is being made from any derived works - then the copyright is 50 years after the date of the death of the creator.

N.

Re:I hope the governments don't give in (1)

denominateur (194939) | about 10 years ago | (#9729955)

Mod parent up, maybe someone high up will notice... as if.. damnit, I hate this world.

Re:I hope the governments don't give in (3, Funny)

TravisWatkins (746905) | about 10 years ago | (#9730004)

So, does the GPL fit into #1 or #2? I'm leaning toward #1.

Shit, there went my karma.

well well well (1)

deadlock911 (629647) | about 10 years ago | (#9729819)

time to move to britan and start recording elvis remakes i say

Re:well well well (3, Funny)

toomin (793701) | about 10 years ago | (#9730044)

before you even consider moving to britain, sometimes known as england, you could learn to speak, read and write english!

This is what's supposed to happen (4, Insightful)

lpontiac (173839) | about 10 years ago | (#9729820)

And Elvis and the record companies knew it 50 years ago, when they were making the music in the first place.

Re:This is what's supposed to happen (3, Informative)

rundgren (550942) | about 10 years ago | (#9729941)

well... Elvis didn't write this song. Infact he hardly wrote any material at all. That's all Right Mama is written by Arthur Crudup

Re:This is what's supposed to happen (1)

zalle (637380) | about 10 years ago | (#9730019)

Considering that Elvis was a complete redneck from the deepest South with probably no idea of what copyright meant, no, I think that the record companies were the only party with a clue about this.

Re:This is what's supposed to happen (1)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about 10 years ago | (#9730059)

Sam Parker (?) looked after that for him - allegedly robbing Elvis blind - and he died a few years ago as well.

There is something special about copyrights in France, I seem to remember that Stravinsky left a lot of his stuff to one Robert Craft who then managed to extend the copyright protection there.
Stravinsky died in 1971 and I don't know what the protection was extended to. At a guess, it was 30 years after death before the change.

Covers (0, Redundant)

KingDaveRa (620784) | about 10 years ago | (#9729826)

Yay!

Now I can make that Elvis cover I've always wanted to do!

Or maybe not.

Toddlers banging a drum? (2, Interesting)

alanw (1822) | about 10 years ago | (#9729832)

If copyright law is changed so that it extends some number of years after the death of the artists, rather than from the date of release of the recording, will we see the likes of 2 year old "Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily", "Fifi Trixibelle" and "Moon Unit" banging a drum on the backing track to prolong copyright as much as possible?

Re:Toddlers banging a drum? (1)

deadlock911 (629647) | about 10 years ago | (#9729841)

yes and you could also assasinate band members to shorten it

Re:Toddlers banging a drum? (2, Funny)

Pflipp (130638) | about 10 years ago | (#9729925)

Nah, I think we'll more likely see some spectacular monetary-driven killings instead.

All that old artists that are still alive do is claim their copyright from their Good Ole Days. Yet those same artists, dead, will give you all their work for free within the timespan of a few years!

Which, of course, leads us to our Business Plan for the next few years:

1. Alter Copyright Law
2. Kill Metallica
3. ???
4. Profit!

I thank you all.

Who's the Artist? (1)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | about 10 years ago | (#9729968)

You are assuming that the "artist" is the sole owner of the recording copyright, and that is rarely if ever the case. Usually the recording copyright is owned by the record company, and therefore the "death plus x years" rule would not apply.

Lets see ... (4, Insightful)

shri (17709) | about 10 years ago | (#9729839)

>> Uniformity on an issue this divisive might be difficult to achieve politically.

Specially since Blair has been accused of letting Dubya have his way on one to many an issue.

Given that this is mostly a commercial issue (national or global security is hardly at stake), I have a feeling Blair and the Labour party will politely ask the Americans to go shove it where the sun don't shine and score with the masses on both sides of the pond.

Re:Lets see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729916)

If you think Tone Blare and New Labour don't cater to commercial interests, you are naive.

Re:Lets see ... (1)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 10 years ago | (#9729961)

That's the best laugh I've had all day. Cheers for that!

Re:Lets see ... (4, Insightful)

LordK2002 (672528) | about 10 years ago | (#9730017)

Specially since Blair has been accused of letting Dubya have his way on one to many an issue. Given that this is mostly a commercial issue (national or global security is hardly at stake), I have a feeling Blair and the Labour party will politely ask the Americans to go shove it where the sun don't shine and score with the masses on both sides of the pond.
Yes, because Blair has such a impressive track record for doing what the masses want and telling the Americans to go shove it.

K

It entered the public domain 20 years ago.. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729840)

..in japan.

Re:It entered the public domain 20 years ago.. (1)

MasterSLATE (638125) | about 10 years ago | (#9729856)

Yeah.. I think I remember hearing a japanese cover.... Kintama no kame aru. That's all right! Eigo ga mechakucha. Daijobu!

Re:It entered the public domain 20 years ago.. (1)

TastyWords (640141) | about 10 years ago | (#9730023)

heta desu

Re:It entered the public domain 20 years ago.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729898)

Did it?

A country should put copyright to 10 years and host all the music from 10 years ago on their servers ;).

I think they do that already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729960)

...in Japan.

Re:It entered the public domain 20 years ago.. (1)

VC (89143) | about 10 years ago | (#9729935)

I think this is one of these "in japan" jokes that seem to have become the new slashdot meme.

silly mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729992)

Slashdot humor may not be funny but it certainly is not informative.

Discrepancy? (2, Insightful)

Arioch of Chaos (674116) | about 10 years ago | (#9729843)

About the alleged "discrepancy between the United States and the EU." - Many (most?) European countries have life plus 70. I was surprised to find that Great Britain does not.

Great Britain does have life plus 70... (1)

lxt (724570) | about 10 years ago | (#9729894)

The UK does have life plus 70, certainly for published works - writers get copyright for life, then 70 years. Some writers try to be sneaky to get extend this law, by, for example, crediting their youngest daughter as a co-author, even if she is only two years old. However, I'm guessing either laws for recorded music are different, or the law changed after this song was published.

Re:Discrepancy? (4, Informative)

BenjyD (316700) | about 10 years ago | (#9729921)

google is your friend: From here [copyrightservice.co.uk] : Sound Recordings and broadcast programmes are 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which work was created/released. Everything else, including the copyright of the actual music, is life+70 years, or "an insane length of time" as I like to call it.

Another reason corporate ownership of music is bad (5, Insightful)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | about 10 years ago | (#9729847)

If individual artists controlled their own music, we wouldn't have anyone lobbying for insane copyright terms, because individuals eventually die, so there's no one to keep lobbying for more and more extensions. The problem with corporations is that they're immortal, so there's no end to the insanity. Believe me, if they get the term extended to 95 years, the Slashdot headline in July 2049 will be about how the Elvis recordings are about to enter the public domain, and the music industry is lobbying the government to extend the term to 150 years so they can keep making money. Every time I read about the RIAA or IFPI, I'm reminded that there are ETLAs far more annoying than GNAA.

Re:Another reason corporate ownership of music is (1)

hitmark (640295) | about 10 years ago | (#9729875)

i was thinking the same thing. when copyright laws where first invented corporations where not around. copyright was created for the benefit of the writer of a text so that noone else could take that text and print it without paying the writer. it had a buildt in timeout tho so that you didnt grant a virtual monopoly for life. the problems i guess realy started when corporations started getting the same rights as individuals (from what i have read at the start corporations had very limited rights) and even more so when labels starting to request that the group or individiual signed over his or her rights to the song. very funny when popidols have to sue their old record label for the right to use old songs, band or artist names (remeber the prince/symbol story?) and whats not. i guess the labels are the start of what we see in cyberpunk, corporations that own you, mind, body and soul...

Re:Another reason corporate ownership of music is (1)

Daengbo (523424) | about 10 years ago | (#9729939)

Well, this reminds me of the "Famous Amos" story. Bare with me... Amos opened a cookie store in my home town in Hawaii. He was very successful. His operation was named "Famous Amos," and his ads were famously bad, always including his likeness.

Unforutately, Amos didn't have the best legal counsel, and was bought out for a lot of money, which he though was a good thing. Until he found out that he couldn't use his own name anymore. His likeness, considered a trademark, was also forbidden. He was a man without name or face.

He almost immediately opened a competing company with a Hawaiian name pronounced NO-NAH-MEI, and spelled "Noname." He had the same bad commercials with his face blacked out. I don't think that he planned to make any money this way, just protest the loss of his name and face.

sad (1)

Rumagent (86695) | about 10 years ago | (#9729848)

The IFPI has started a campaign to raise awareness among policy makers and legislators on the issue. It targets EU member states, the EC and the Parliament.


"We are using any opportunity we have to highlight the issue during meetings with the commission and MEPs," said Brussels-based IFPI senior communications executive Francine Cunningham.


Am I the only one who gets the image of an eight-year old screaming "Giv me that it's mine!!".

Re:sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729865)

Am I the only one that thinks 'Rights Owners', Movie and Record company executives, and copyright lobbyists should be dragged out into the street naked from their beds, and shot in the back of the neck with a 10mm?

Thought not.

Re:sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729936)

"campaign to raise awareness" -> "bribe"

Jurisdiction (4, Interesting)

Beautyon (214567) | about 10 years ago | (#9729850)

Anyone remember A Little Less Conversation Elvis vs JXL? [wikipedia.org] it reached Number One in 20 countries, including the USA.

This song becoming a hit is more likely than one might imagine.

As for "rights owners" we need to say who this phrase really means: The American monopoly music companies.

They have already said that they will try and block the importation of products containing legally produced public domain works [mit.edu] ; it would be the most delicious of situations if this song did become a huge smash after it entered the public domain in the UK, and the RIAA tried to block its importation.

One thing is for certain; as more and more works enter the public domain here in the UK, the likelyhood of a hit coming from one of these works increases. This confrontation is going to happen.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

Gumshoe (191490) | about 10 years ago | (#9729987)

As for "rights owners" we need to say who this phrase really means: The American monopoly music companies.
Correct. It's a very weasly way of equating corporations with the "people who hold copyrights". The fact of the matter is though, I'm a "rights owner" too and I say, let the song fall into the public domain. Why don't they listen to me? Not only do I say this as a member of the public (for who, supposedly, modern copyright was created to benefit) I'm also saying this as a copyright holder. The sad fact is however, even though we've been granted the same rights as the corporations (I'm an "artifical corporation" as it were) we'll never really be considered equal in the eyes of the law because we're incapable of attracting gobs of money with quite the same ferocity and consequently politicians tend to ignore us. There are advantages to this of course; I don't like flys and I certainly don't want to smell of shit.

It's unfortunate state of affairs, but I'm sure I'll cope.

But... (4, Funny)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | about 10 years ago | (#9729853)

But Elvis is alive! I just saw him leaving the building!

The Americans have every right to be outraged (3, Funny)

tezza (539307) | about 10 years ago | (#9729861)

Bob the Builder sings Elvis?? Oooh, this Christmas in London is going to be hell.

I could use another 20+ years for this attrocity to wait.

The Terms of Release (2, Insightful)

Quirk (36086) | about 10 years ago | (#9729891)

It might serve to look at the release of the material into a market as a contract. If the copyright holders choose to release the material into a market then they also choose, tacitly, to accept the conditions imposed by the copyright laws of the market, in this case a 50 year limit. If, as in this case, the Americans don't want to play by the British rules they should keep their product at home.

Loophole? (2, Interesting)

BelugaParty (684507) | about 10 years ago | (#9729900)

In written works, translations are often a way for companies to maintain copywrites. For instance: Kafka's works can be held by a publishing company based on one persons translation, while another person's rendition can be public domain. Often times, the version with copywrite will be touted as the definitive, most accurate version. To avoid argument, I'll assume this claim is true.


With record companies, I wonder if they can release low quality versions into public domain, while maintaining rights to higher quality versions. So they can release 96kbit mp3 into public domain, but a CD quality version maintains or recieves copywrite.


But I think this scenario will definately have interesting results. If the track does become a hit and is public domain, how will companies distinguish their final products from one another? Will it come down to the case, additional tracks, a DVD movie?... Other ways of looping copywrite into the equation? I will be waiting for the outcome.

Re:Loophole? (1)

tezza (539307) | about 10 years ago | (#9729912)

But I think the problem is that even the high quality version falls into the public domain as 50+ years.

Re:Loophole? (2, Insightful)

ThatsNotFunny (775189) | about 10 years ago | (#9729931)

1) A translation will not change the copyright of the original work. The publisher of a new translation has no rights to the original, or any other translations, only the new work.

2) Quality of the media has nothing to do with the copyright.

3) There are actually two copyrights involved with music, the song itself, and the recording of that song. That's why you'll usually see a (P) and a (C) on recordings.

Re:Loophole? (1)

BelugaParty (684507) | about 10 years ago | (#9729973)

1. A translation will not change the copyright of the original work. The publisher of a new translation has no rights to the original, or any other translations, only the new work.


good catch. That's what i meant.

Re:Loophole? (1)

BelugaParty (684507) | about 10 years ago | (#9730008)

since you seem to know something about this, where are "digitally remastered CD's" in the copyright spectrum? I mean, if a song goes into public domain and a producer decides to "digitally remaster" the work, would s/he be able to copywrite that reproduction or not? That's really what I'm asking when it comes to quality of media... etc.


Maybe I should clarify:


Once a book becomes public domain, it is okay to translate that work and claim copyright to that translation.
Multiple translations can exist for the same book, and each translation can be under different copyrights, even though the source is and remains public domain.


So: is this public domain recording similar to this concept in any way? Can a low quality recording stay in public domain, while, one company takes that source then digitally remasters it. Can they copywrite the remastered work?

Re:Loophole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729958)

In written works, translations are often a way for companies to maintain copywrites.

Copyright and copy writing are two entirely different things. Spelling counts.

With record companies, I wonder if they can release low quality versions into public domain, while maintaining rights to higher quality versions. So they can release 96kbit mp3 into public domain, but a CD quality version maintains or recieves copywrite.

Firstly, they don't "release" anything into the public domain. Their privilege of stopping people copying it expires.

Secondly, the period of copyright starts from when a work is fixed into a tangible medium, i.e. when a song is recorded. Even if they kept the high-quality version to themselves and only published a low-quality version, the high-quality version's copyright would expire fifty years after it was recorded.

The only way a technique like that could succeed is if the company used the original recording medium and a new technique for pulling data from it to produce a new representation of that song. A technique pioneered by the definitive copyright abuser, Disney (you remember all those "remastered classics?).

Re:Loophole? (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | about 10 years ago | (#9729976)

With record companies, I wonder if they can release low quality versions into public domain, while maintaining rights to higher quality versions. So they can release 96kbit mp3 into public domain, but a CD quality version maintains or recieves copywrite.

No, they aren't going to release anything to public domain willingly. Haven't you yet realized how stubborn those people are?

They'll tell people to either buy the (copyrighted, once again) new "digitally remastered" copy-protected wretches of "CDs", or go dig those LPs (or whatever prehistoric gramophone junk people lived with back in the day) from 1950s from archives and rip those, because they're definitely out of copyright.

Copyrights and money (4, Insightful)

eric76 (679787) | about 10 years ago | (#9729901)

I suspect that in most cases, the copyright owners make most of the money on their copyrights in the first five years or so.

By ten years, most of the copyrights are nearly worthless.

I don't see any reason why copyrights should extend past twenty years.

If copyrights are the property of their owners, why not treat them as property and require that property taxes be paid on copyrights and allow the copyright owner to make the material public docmain if the property taxes exceed the income from the copyrights?

Re:Copyrights and money (3, Insightful)

MalachiConstant (553800) | about 10 years ago | (#9729999)

I think copyright is WAAAAY to excessive, but your solution has a fatal flaw.

Any kind of media created by you has an automatic copyright. You don't need to register with anyone or pay anything.

So, imagine an indie band who just likes making music. Are you saying that they should have to pay to prevent their 100 copies of their CD they recorded in their garage from being duplicated and sold by someone who keeps all the profit? I bought an old No Doubt CD that was made before they made it big*. If they were selling the CD for, say $5 when it came out should they have to pay $1000 per year to keep it from the public domain?

Clearly they wouldn't do this, so when they had recieved more exposure and people wanted to hear their early stuff they wouldn't get any money for it.

You can bet there would be people who did nothing but monitor what went into the public domain and make money selling it for redistribution, sampling, etc.

In addition to this no large creator of any kind of media could afford to keep all their work in copyright. You would either have to set the price for the "property tax" so low that the studios would just copyright everything and it would only be a burden on small artists, or high enough that no independent artist could possibly afford it, and only coporate owned media would be copyrighted.

Having now read the fine article (1)

tezza (539307) | about 10 years ago | (#9729903)

Pro Extension:

This is in Britain
Most of the successful albums from here were in the 60s, 70s, and they will lose a lot of hold on these
EMI has most of the market share here
EMI would be worst effected
British jobs lost

Con Extension

Works based upon public domain stuff still have to be promoted and distributed
Music giants still vigorously control these channels
Public Domain recordings such as Classical Music are still big earners for EMI see EMI Classics in earnings breakdown [emigroup.com] .

Summary

Jobs will go, restructuring will occur and fileswappers wil be blamed

Re:Having now read the fine article (1)

azzy (86427) | about 10 years ago | (#9729989)

The article attempts to worry Brits by saying they will start losing money as the Beatles goes out of copyright - umm... I thought Michael Jackson owned the Beatles portfolio... So yeah.. let's change British law to help out Wacko Jacko..

Re:Having now read the fine article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9730026)

Public Domain recordings such as Classical Music are still big earners for EMI
If I record, say, a new version of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, then I own the copyright on that recording. I don't own the copyright on the music - that is well into the public domain, which is why I can make a recording of it and sell it. But you are still not allowed to copy my recording of it, unless I say that it's OK. So much of EMI's classical music catalogue is in copyright. If some of it slips to the public domain, they can just make a new recording with a new orchestra and discontinue the old one.

Irony (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729908)

From the article:

"It's scary," Welch said during a 37-date sold-out tour of the United Kingdom. "I only became aware of the situation last year ... Our stuff is still selling, and there's about 250 various compilation albums out there worldwide. I'd like the period extended as soon as possible, and 95 years sounds good to me."

Yeah, sounds like he'd really be struggling if he lost the income from that 50-year-old song.

50 years of profit isn't enough? (1, Insightful)

payndz (589033) | about 10 years ago | (#9729911)

If you haven't already made enough money off something 50 years after it was created, then maybe it's not worth keeping hold of.

I bet we'll see a change to the law slipped through before the end of the year, though. Blair will do anything that the Americans tell him just so that he can have his ego-trip of thinking he's Bush's best friend, even as Bush pounds him in the ass. The man's a fucking disgrace to this country.

Re:50 years of profit isn't enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729930)

That about sums it up, but I'll just add that I have only been paid once for 10 years employment and it's just not fair, my company or the state should continue paying me indefinately for services I have only provided once.

Copyrighted works and country of origin (1)

riflemann (190895) | about 10 years ago | (#9729919)

Shouldnt an Elvis song's copyright duration be determined by the laws in the country where the work was recorded?

From my knowledge of copyright law, the duration of the copyright that is effective worldwide is specified by the laws in which the copyright was obtained. Thus, this song will expire when US law says it expires, not UK law.

Or is someone able to clarify this?

Re:Copyrighted works and country of origin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9729978)

Shouldnt an Elvis song's copyright duration be determined by the laws in the country where the work was recorded?

Keep your laws off my country.

Re:Copyrighted works and country of origin (1)

pacc (163090) | about 10 years ago | (#9729979)

Of course,
and naturally the laws applied ought to be the ones effective at the time it was written.

Re:Copyrighted works and country of origin (1)

Pofy (471469) | about 10 years ago | (#9730015)

No, the copyright laws governing a work is always the individual countries. Basically a countries copyright law, applies to work created in tha country and/or by members of it. And nothing else

What the Bern convention (for example) do is that a country will also honor work from outher countries (that are also part af the agreement) as if they had been created in its country and thus they will get the same protection as other work.

"Suffer loss of income" ?? (4, Insightful)

Motherfucking Shit (636021) | about 10 years ago | (#9729920)

Jamieson added, "The end of the sound recording copyright on the explosion of British popular music in the late '50s and '60s, not just the Beatles, but many other British artists, is only a short period away. If nothing is done they will suffer loss of income not just for their sales in the U.K. but their sales across the globe."
Pardon me, but so fucking what?

The late '50s and '60s was more than 40 years ago! Who guaranteed anyone a right to still be profiting from music recorded before man set foot on the moon, especially when those artists are no longer around? The living Beatles, the heirs to Elvis Presley Enterprises, and anyone else who has been suckling at the copyright teat for 40 years should be grateful for what they have. Quit whining about "loss of income" from something you didn't lift a finger to produce.

I'm lucky to be paid a decent wage for the work I do today, and I'll consider myself fortunate if my job is still around next month. I sure as hell don't have any expectation that, 40 years from now, I'll still be making money from something I did today! Much less that my kids, if I ever choose to have any, will see any benefit beyond what I manage to save up and pass on to them. Even pension plans are a dying breed here in the US; when once a widow could count on her husband's years of duty to his company to provide some meager living for her when she survived him, nowadays it's generally left up to Social Security.

Why, then, is it so different when it comes to copyrighted works, music in particular? Why is it that the descendants of dead musicians feel that they're due millions of dollars for their parents' (or even grandparents') work, eternally? I don't get it. Maybe I should have been born to musicians.

TJ Would Agree (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#9730049)

... It has been pretended by some, (and in England especially,) that inventors have a natural and exclusive right to their inventions, and not merely for their own lives, but inheritable to their heirs. But while it is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all, it would be singular to admit a natural and even an hereditary right to inventors.

It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society. It would be curious then, if an idea, the fugitive fermentation of an individual brain, could, of natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable property.

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.

Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.

Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body.

Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am informed, that England was, until we copied her, the only country on earth which ever, by a general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive use of an idea. In some other countries it is sometimes done, in a great case, and by a special and personal act, but, generally speaking, other nations have thought that these monopolies produce more embarrassment than advantage to society; and it may be observed that the nations which refuse monopolies of invention, are as fruitful as England in new and useful devices. -- Thomas Jefferson

Warning: Don't put it on your webpage (1)

infolib (618234) | about 10 years ago | (#9729929)

It's only the producer's and performers' rights that expire after 50 years in the EU. This means that you won't have to pay the performers or the record company to use the record. However, the rights of the composer and text author will remain to 70 years after their death (AKA forever minus a day).

If you spread the recording without some sort of agreement (through contract or compulsory licensing) with the composer or writer, you'll acquire liability and might very well be sued.

Let them have their copyrights (4, Interesting)

ites (600337) | about 10 years ago | (#9729943)

It's an attempt to colonise the creative commons.

It will fail.

Elvis found his inspiration and many of his melodies in a common musical culture created by (ironically) generations of the poorest black American musicians. Creativity comes from many sources, but corporate profits are not one of them. This was true in the early part of the 20th century, where the sheet-music publishers tried to dominate the music industry (and failed). It is as true today.

For every "major" work copyrighted and kept out of the cultural blender, a hundred unknown artists pour their talent into creating something new.

Let them have their copyrights. It means young artists will have to search harder for their inspirations, but the results will be better for it.

It's all folk music (2, Insightful)

duncangough (530657) | about 10 years ago | (#9729946)

so it's our anyway.
You can't claim that 'That's all right' is a song that would not have happened if Elvis hadn't sung it.

Translation (4, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | about 10 years ago | (#9729971)

"Bitch, piss, moan, we can't rape a dead man's music catalogue for cash and many dubious "Best of" albums, boo fucking hoo, I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy etc etc"

Well, I got news for ya RIAA! EASY COME EASY GO [wikipedia.org] , SHUT THE FUCK UP! This is LAW. You aren't allowed to profit by getting new laws in place which benefit you and nobody else! EVER! Especially not in countries which aren't corrupt like the US government! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. If you want profit, you have to make it the old fashioned honest way: MAKING GOOD NEW MUSIC AND SELLING IT. Unfortunately, the RIAA are used to making profit and not earning it, because "they deserve it".

Fuck that. I wish the US would break them up, considering they are an illegal cartel.

Does this mean (2, Interesting)

Evets (629327) | about 10 years ago | (#9729990)

Does this mean that Mickey Mouse is public domain in england?

Re:Does this mean (1)

twem2 (598638) | about 10 years ago | (#9730031)

No.
Because for things other than recorded sound it is 70 years after the author/creator's death. (funny, it was originally 15 years... but Micky Mouse is the reason we keep on gettnig extentions).

There's been a fuss about James Joyce's Ulysees recently. there was a period where it was out of copyright, but then they extended the copyright period and his estate is now arguing that its back in copyright so they need to be paid for public performance.

OMG it's true (1)

Boiling_point_ (443831) | about 10 years ago | (#9729995)

The BCC proves it [bbc.co.uk] . So some Googling shows up a truckload of press releases [noblepr.co.uk] demonstrating that BMG UK/Ireland is hyping a fifty year old tune as the first rock and roll song. More Googling indicates that many others disagree with that assertion (I'll leave it to you to explore it).

Am I simply forming a conspiracy theory, or does anyone else think the argument for extending copyright based on 'sustained revenues' is significantly boosted by hyping some ancient tune at exactly the time the point is made?

Oh, great (1)

TastyWords (640141) | about 10 years ago | (#9730012)

More "Mickey Mouse" legislation (seriously).

The Disney people didn't want MIckey Mouse become public so they have Congress expand the window of protection.
If this is going to be the case every time something comes up, it's going to be extended.

Why don't they just abolish the whole f%cking system of protection? (except those whose work is worthless)

Kinda funny... (1)

taugenix (602325) | about 10 years ago | (#9730025)

...since the song was originally written by Arthur Crudup... but... I guess... that's alright.

Not in the public domain (4, Informative)

Florian Weimer (88405) | about 10 years ago | (#9730028)

Even in Europe, the song itself is not in the public domain because Athur Crudup, its composer, died only as late as 1974. In most European countries, works of performing artists are only protected for 50 years, but for the actual lyrics and music, the clock starts running after the author's death (and runs for 50 or 70 years).

That means that the European rules mainly cause classical music to enter the public domain at this point.

show me the creative benefit (4, Insightful)

grolaw (670747) | about 10 years ago | (#9730032)

The key defect of the Sony Bono copyright extension act is that it does not reward the creator of the work...it extends monopoly rights to the assignees of the work.

The history of copyright is one long battle between the rights of the author and the rights of third-parties. The Sony Bono copyright extension act does nothing to reward or encourage the author...it removed many works from the public domain and established criminal sanctions for any fool who might use those works newly re-copywritten. Who pushed this law in the US? Disney. THE MOUSE almost went into the public domain and a company contemplated the demise of their core IP rights and promptly made certain THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

The Sony Bono copyright extension act is only the most current power grab. It is the camel's nose under the tent of author's rights. Creator's be damned-let's reward the assignees. Mr. Michael Jackson funds his interests with the copyright royalties from the works of McCartney & Lennon. Not one dime of those royalties reward, support or encourage either of the two living Beatles. They fund Mr. Jackson's "Neverland" ranch and his defense attorneys. All you need is love? Or, is all you need are buckets of money to fund Mr. Jackson's peculiar concept of love? Any way you look at this it stinks on ice!

You can be certain that well before the MOUSE or Jackson find their IP holdings in danger of falling into the public domain again that another extension will be enacted.

Now is the time for a major nation to upset this unearned windfall for the lucky, but uncreative, assignees of author's works. Limit the rights of publishers, purchasers and offspring to profit from the (usually) under compensated creator's works!

some good posts (0, Redundant)

BlackShirt (690851) | about 10 years ago | (#9730046)

If individual artists controlled their own music, we wouldn't have anyone lobbying for insane copyright terms, because individuals eventually die, so there's no one to keep lobbying for more and more extensions. The problem with corporations is that they're immortal, so there's no end to the insanity. Believe.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=114826&op=Repl y&threshold=2&commentsort=0&tid=141&mode=thread&pi d=9729847 [slashdot.org]

About the alleged "discrepancy between the United States and the EU." - Many (most?) European countries have life plus 70. I was surprised to find that Great Britain does not

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=114826&op=Repl y&threshold=2&commentsort=0&tid=141&mode=thread&pi d=9729843 [slashdot.org]

Why is this an issue NOW...? (3, Insightful)

SalsaDot (772010) | about 10 years ago | (#9730051)

Music has been entering the public domain there for years hasn't it?

Oh yeah, this is Elvis we're talking about, heaven forbid his music ever be free.

(wait till the Beatles' hits hit the wire...)

Dont worry, in 50 years or so, some copyright will be repealed. No one will give a damn about protecting today's pop musical shite. But the old stuff will remain protected FOREVER AND EVER. :)

Elvis is back is he? (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | about 10 years ago | (#9730057)

So lets see, is Elvis outraged, or some greedy money grabbing fuckwit who wants to milk their dead relative at the expense of polluting the law with even more crap? I thought so.

Thoughts about Apple, Napster, Sony... (2, Interesting)

adzoox (615327) | about 10 years ago | (#9730067)

So if this happens, will the online music stores not pay any longer and make an extra profit?

Apple currently gets a 13 cent cut off of each song and by the recent financial statement appears to make about 2.4 cents a song profit.

Will Apple be able to collect the 55 cents that goes to the RIAA and the 32 cents the artists get?
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