Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Businesses Government The Almighty Buck News

EU Commissioner Proposes 95 year Copyright 591

Posted by Zonk
from the infinity-plus-a-kabillion dept.
Albanach writes "The European Union Commissioner for the Internal Market has today proposed extending the copyright term for musical recordings to 95 years. He also wishes to investigate options for new levies on blank discs, data storage and music and video players to compensate artists and copyright holders for 'legal copying when listeners burn an extra version of an album to play one at home and one in the car ... People are living longer and 50 years of copyright protection no longer give lifetime income to artists who recorded hits in their late teens or early twenties, he said.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

EU Commissioner Proposes 95 year Copyright

Comments Filter:
  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Captain Splendid (673276) * <{capsplendid} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:55PM (#22421694) Homepage Journal
    That clinches it, I'm moving back to Europe.

    Obviously, Crack is cheaper and more plentiful over there.
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#22421870)
      Must be, this is crazy. How do artists need to be compensated for making copies of their work? You own the CD, you can copy it, as many times as you want, give/sell it to whoever you want, period. This imaginary property thinking is getting eerily pervasive.. nobody even thinks to question it anymore, even on slashdot.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by alext (29323)
        Because the only way artists get compensated is via copies of their work?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by rootofevil (188401)
          -1, disingenuous.

          musical artists make their scratch from concerts, not album sales.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by s.bots (1099921)
            musical artists who are signed to a thieving record label make their scratch from concerts, not album sales.

            There, FYP for you.
          • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by KnightNavro (585943) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:38PM (#22422502)

            musical artists make their scratch from concerts, not album sales.
            So the Beatles didn't make a dime after their last concert in 1966?

            Album sales are the sole source of income for many bands that don't tour. Lots of bands and artists that rely on heavy studio production can't effectively take their show on the road and live on album sales alone.

            • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:48PM (#22422698) Homepage Journal
              Then they are in the wrong line of work. The explicitly stated purpose of copyright is to encourage the creation of new works, NOT to ensure the lifetime income of works creators. If they want to make more money, start writing/performing new stuff.
              • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 14, 2008 @04:41PM (#22425378)

                The explicitly stated purpose of copyright is to encourage the creation of new works

                That's a nice myth, until you read this [questioncopyright.org]:

                Yet a close look at history shows that copyright has never been a major factor in allowing creativity to flourish. Copyright is an outgrowth of the privatization of government censorship in sixteenth-century England. There was no uprising of authors suddenly demanding the right to prevent other people from copying their works; far from viewing copying as theft, authors generally regarded it as flattery. The bulk of creative work has always depended, then and now, on a diversity of funding sources: commissions, teaching jobs, grants or stipends, patronage, etc. The introduction of copyright did not change this situation. What it did was allow a particular business model -- mass pressings with centralized distribution -- to make a few lucky works available to a wider audience, at considerable profit to the distributors.

                [...]

                The first copyright law was a censorship law. It had nothing to do with protecting the rights of authors, or encouraging them to produce new works. Authors' rights were in no danger in sixteenth-century England, and the recent arrival of the printing press (the world's first copying machine) was if anything energizing to writers. So energizing, in fact, that the English government grew concerned about too many works being produced, not too few. The new technology was making seditious reading material widely available for the first time, and the government urgently needed to control the flood of printed matter, censorship being as legitimate an administrative function then as building roads.

                [...]

                The system was quite openly designed to serve booksellers and the government, not authors. New books were entered in the Company's Register under a Company member's name, not the author's name. By convention, the member who registered the entry held the "copyright", the exclusive right to publish that book, over other members of the Company, and the Company's Court of Assistants resolved infringement disputes.

                This was not simply the latest manifestation of some pre-existing form of copyright. It's not as though authors had formerly had copyrights, which were now to be taken away and given to the Stationers. The Stationers' right was a new right, though one based on a long tradition of granting monopolies to guilds as a means of control. Before this moment, copyright -- that is, a privately held, generic right to prevent others from copying -- did not exist. People routinely printed works they admired when they had the chance, an activity which is responsible for the survival of many of those works to the present day. One could, of course, be enjoined from distributing a specific document because of its potentially libelous effect, or because it was a private communication, or because the government considered it dangerous and seditious. But these reasons are about public safety or damage to reputation, not about property ownership. There had also been, in some cases, special privileges (then called "patents") allowing exclusive printing of certain types of books. But until the Company of Stationers, there had not been a blanket injunction against printing in general, nor a conception of copyright as a legal property that could be owned by a private party.

                That's right. Too many works were being created, so they instituted censorship to curb and control the flow of enlightening material to their subjects. Then privatized that, and copyright grew from there as a self preserving reaction, after their initial monopoly had been dissolved. It was nothing more than a shameless attempt to continue that monopoly, at the cost of damaging our culture.

            • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Insightful)

              by dedalus2000 (704571) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:58PM (#22422880)
              The idea of working on something for a few weeks or months then getting payed for the remainder of your life seems kind of odd to me. artists can't make a dime for a work half done so some term of protection is certainly in all of our interests but anything past 14 years is corporate welfare. At some point the value of the original work is recouped and further copy protections become hindrances in that they discourage further development based on the original works and further productivity by the original creator. we limit the rights of society as a whole to produce copies of original works in order to encourage production of original works beyond that there is no value social or otherwise in limiting these individual rights.
        • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by orasio (188021) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:53PM (#22422784) Homepage

          Because the only way artists get compensated is via copies of their work?
          I don't get it.
          If you buy a CD from an artist, is he losing money because you transfer them to your Ipod?
          I thought that by buying the CD you were buying a license to listen to the song, regardless of the media. I don't see why an artist should care how I listen to what I paid for.

    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:34PM (#22422422) Journal
      The copyright is shorter. Not short enough; I think the twenty years it used to be here in the US is plenty long, and I say that as a copyright holder.

      In fact, there are many at slashdot who want to abolish copyright entirely. I think there would be far fewer of these folks if copyrights were sanely limited.

      I don't know about Europe, but here in the US we're not supposed to have lifetime copyrights. In fact, our Constitution specifies copyrights and patents are to get artists to create in order that the public domain be enriched, and that they should last "a limited time." SCOTUS fucktards, ignoring the plain language the Constitution was written in, have ruled that "limited" means whatever Congress wants it to mean.

      Since all US laws are based on the Constitution, and the Supreme Court is ignoring it, I choose to ignore all the other God damned laws they write and to hell with them.

      -mcgrew [slashdot.org]
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dmomo (256005) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:41PM (#22422558) Homepage
      I don't understand why even the artist is entitled to profiting for their entire life. An economy has only so much budget for creative works. Every penny paid was generated from productivity. It seems wrong that we are putting production resources towards work that has long been compensated.

      - Artist does work
      - This costs productivity / resources
      - Artist gets paid for work by money generated from productivit
      - Amount of productivity / resources paid to artist doubles productivity exerted by Artist
      - Every time the artist gets paid for this work, productivity and resources are being poured into a black hole. Nothing is being created. Resources are being wasted.

      This is just bad economics. In short, people are laboring, and that labor benefits just one person. We can only afford to buy so much art. As the pool of available art increases, the budget for this does not. So we have less available for new works. It's time to free up those resources to put artists to work!

      • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

        by Robber Baron (112304) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:10PM (#22423046) Homepage
        Yeah I know I'd like to still be getting paid for work I did 20 years ago! You're still living in that house aren't you? Well I helped build it, and since you're still using it, I should still be getting paid!
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Puk (80503) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @03:23PM (#22424194)

      That clinches it, I'm moving back to Europe.

      Obviously, Crack is cheaper and more plentiful over there.
      You missed the part where in the U.S., it's already [cornell.edu] 95 years for works for hire and lifetime of the author plus 70 years for plain old humans. If you want crack, we're your country.

      -puk
  • Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nebaz (453974) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:55PM (#22421716)
    Why should anyone get a lifetime income for one thing they created? If they do, why would they bother creating anything else?
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:58PM (#22421748) Homepage Journal
      A lifetime income could be a million dollars a week or it could be 25 cents a month. However 95 years is just plain crazy.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by moderatorrater (1095745) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:58PM (#22421762)
      There's a much simpler solution to that problem anyway: make the copyright end when the artist dies.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Funny)

        by Jamu (852752) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:08PM (#22422006)
        I think it's better for the artists if there isn't any financial incentive to see them dead.
      • by magarity (164372)
        make the copyright end when the artist dies
         
        You've just condemned all good musicians to be one hit wonders - they'll all have 'accidents' as soon as there is one positive cash flow peice of work to avoid paying them any royalties.
        • You've just condemned all good musicians to be one hit wonders - they'll all have 'accidents' as soon as there is one positive cash flow peice of work to avoid paying them any royalties.

          Why? Then the label couldn't make any money of them either, as without the copyright, the work would be in the public domain. Unless you are suggesting that people that want to get away with filesharing the one hit will kill the artist to make it legal, which seems a bit unlikely.

    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KublaiKhan (522918) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:59PM (#22421766) Homepage Journal
      Indeed--aren't copyrights and patents supposed to -encourage- innovation?

      Besides, if you're so poor at managing money that you can't leverage 50 years of income into a retirement account, you're an idiot.

      Why is it none of the music or movie folks seem to have heard of a 401k or IRA or equivalent, anyway?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Charlie McCreevy never will. He was/is one of the people pushing for software patents also. I knew I recalled the name. He's also a liar (and the email's in the header - please feel free to sue me). He said this recently about the patent directive: "I've said all along is that what the original purpose of the directive was, was to codify the existing situation." [1]

        Oh, and software patent opposition is born of "anti-Americanism and anti-big business protests" [ibid]. Yes, it's true. There is no other in
    • Why should anyone get a lifetime income for one thing they created? If they do, why would they bother creating anything else?

      More money?

      But we aren't really talking about _creators_ here, we're talking about rights owners. The author is still alive, but they don't get anything worth lobbying for. As Bob Newhart said on Sound Opinions last week... when he showed up to audit the labels records he was told there was a "fire" in the N's section of the records department. Nothing that would prevent the label from loosing revenue, but no evidence on what they owe to Bob.

    • Personally, I wouldn't mind such ridiculously long copywrite, if copywrites were non-transferable. This makes it so a copywrite can't be sold to a corporation whole doesn't have a life span... the only copywrites a corporation would own would be works for hire... and then you should be able to classify that as a different style of copywrite... after all, they have no lifespan.

      Back to the topic a little more, why SHOULDN'T someone profit from something they created for that long? If people are actually stil
      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:20PM (#22422224) Journal

        Back to the topic a little more, why SHOULDN'T someone profit from something they created for that long?
        I make a living from copyright, and I am very lazy. I am completely okay with the idea of being paid in perpetuity for something I create now, but I am also aware that it removes my incentive to create more. The purpose of copyright, sadly, is not for me to get rich. It is to make me (and, more realistically, others) create things that enrich our culture. Imagine if Mozart have been able to keep cashing in on his first symphony for his entire life. Would he have bothered writing the other 40?

        Copyright needs to be a balance. A good creator needs to be rewarded well enough that they can make more creating than doing something else, but not so well that they just stop. I remember Terry Pratchett saying (possibly quoting someone else) 'when you stop writing, you aren't an author, you're just some guy who wrote a book once.' The copyright system should reward authors, not guys who wrote a book once (and I say this as a guy who wrote a book once).

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Orange Crush (934731) * on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:29PM (#22422358)

      Why should anyone get a lifetime income for one thing they created? If they do, why would they bother creating anything else?

      Come on, does anyone here honestly believe this has anything at all to do with the actual artists? If someone recorded hits in their teens or twenties, I highly doubt they'll be relying on the pathetic residuals their label deigns to pay them to stay out of the poor house.

      The record companies just don't want to give up their revenue on oldies--music from 1958 and prior is now lapsing into the public domain in Europe. This is music from the birth of rock and roll, i.e. Chuck Berry (who still performs at concerts, mind you!), Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, and loads more. These are classics that people are still buying new CDs of, putting on their iPods, etc. Chuck's not gonna wind up on the streets because Johnny B. Good can be downloaded legally for free, but the record company still wants their cut. *THAT'S* what this is really all about.

  • Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dustmite (667870) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:57PM (#22421746)
    So get a job, honestly, nobody inherently deserves to be able to survive decades from doing something once early in life unless it was truly highly valuable to society (in which case it should pay for itself, and shouldn't require forced theft of taxpayers to give somebody money for sitting on their butt). Go flip burgers or make new recordings or something, leeching from others is disgusting.
    • Re:Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:15PM (#22422122)

      So get a job, honestly, nobody inherently deserves to be able to survive decades from doing something once early in life
      Or *invest* those earnings from the big hit and live off of that. I have no sympathy for people who were millionaires due to some one time hit and then frittered it away.
  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hexedian (626557) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:58PM (#22421750) Homepage
    Why bother? It's not like anything created by the current artists in their teens will still be listened to five years from now, let alone fifty...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by noidentity (188756)

      Why bother? It's not like anything created by the current artists in their teens will still be listened to five years from now, let alone fifty...

      Good point! They need to add a provision for guaranteed income even if the work isn't generating any.

  • I agree! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 14, 2008 @12:59PM (#22421774) Homepage Journal
    I think that the government & various communications companies that I've done work for over the years should pay me for my designs & plans for 95 years after their creation. Why yes, they are works of art!
    • Re:I agree! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:40PM (#22422528)
      Someone give this guy props and mod him insightful. I won't comment too much, since there are plenty of comments already that point out the absurdity of this.

      I'll just reiterate: there's nothing special about what an artist creates. An artist either fills a supply niche with material for which there is demand, or they're just doing intellectual masturbation. And yes, I'm dead serious with that statement.

      This means that if an artist can't find a buyer, they don't deserve an income. Now, there's indeed the wrinkle of near-free unlimited distribution of digital copies of their work. Sell your song or painting to one person, and everyone in the world has access to the digital copy. Here are the options to deal with this: make sure that the first sale of the song compensates you for the work you put into it, or get enough people to pay for it to provide enough aggregate compensation. The simplest solution for this is still the tried and true live performance. You can't copy it, because then it wouldn't be live. You can easily calculate how much you need to charge to make a living.

      That said, I can live with a certain amount of copyright law. This will make it easier for artists to create income and won't make the creation of art into a rat race of who can copy whose popular work the best. Personally, I'd like to see it be as long as a patent: 20 years. If 20 years is enough time to recoup investment in creating new technology, it is enough time to recoup investment in creating new art. Also, I don't think that copyright should end with the death of the artist. I'm sure there are enough people out there who aren't above killing someone to be able to freely copy and perform a piece of art. Not having the death provision in there will remove an incentive for killing. It's true that it's already illegal to kill someone, but it also doesn't mean we have to give killers a reason to kill.
  • EuroDisney (Score:2, Insightful)

    Man they open up that EuroDisney and now they're extending copyright over there as well... Watch out for Disney China.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:00PM (#22421792) Journal
    I'm personally hoping the make a special category for bubblegum pop music - that crap can be copyrighted for 10,000 years. Sort of like how you lock up radioactive waste based on half-life.

    /P

  • Why would artists need compensating for when people make *legal* copies?
  • by Arcaeris (311424) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:01PM (#22421824)
    1) What incentive does a "lifetime of income" give to songwriters to write new songs? Will amateurs be the only ones writing songs until their next big hit single?

    2) What's the difference between burning a second copy of a CD FOR MYSELF and carrying that original CD between my house and my car with me? Because one used my hand and one used a computer?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985)

      1) What incentive does a "lifetime of income" give to songwriters to write new songs? Will amateurs be the only ones writing songs until their next big hit single?

      Well, to be fair, the laws of supply and demand eventually kicks in. The heirs of the folks who wrote Ragtime tunes probably wouldn't be seeing a whole lot of royalty income right now. In fact, I think Disney, Inc. and perhaps a handful of others are the only ones I've seen who are capable of zombifying their old stuff and still make some money off of it.

      Given the mass of dreck we see nowadays, the incentive for the sognwriter would be to keep them thar royalty checks not only coming in, but to continu

  • by Noryungi (70322) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:01PM (#22421832) Homepage Journal
    Quite honestly, if (like me) you are a European, I guess it's time to kick some butt and make Europe more democratic.

    Whoever that Commissioner is, I propose we all sack him. With extreme prejudice, if you see what I mean...

    OK, this being said, anyone ready to open a petition against this stooopid copyright extension?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rob Kaper (5960)
      Sack him? It's a politician. The best we Europeans can do next time is not vote for.. oh wait, the Commission isn't a democratically elected body.

      1. Sign international treaties as minister of a European country.
      2. Call this activity a "Commission".
      3. Have control over 2/3rd over European law effectively bypassing those pesky democratic decisions made by member states.
      4. Sell out.
      5. PROFIT!!!

      Looks like we can end the profit meme here, someone cracked it for us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by orzetto (545509)

        The best we Europeans can do next time is not vote for.. oh wait, the Commission isn't a democratically elected body.

        True indeed, but without approval from the European Parliament [wikipedia.org] the Commission cannot do squat. That's how software patents were busted [wikipedia.org]: the commission wanted them, the parliament told them to go fornicate themselves with a pitchfork (648 to 14, that's a pretty clear vote).

        And yes, you can vote [wikipedia.org] for the EU parliament.

    • by alext (29323) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:27PM (#22422328)
      McCreevy is a Commissioner for the Irish Republic. He has previous form in attempting to impose US-style software patents in the EU.

      Previously Ireland finance minister, his basic position is whatever is good for big business is good for the EU.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by xaxa (988988)
      The best thing to do is probably to write to you MEP [europa.eu]. Their email and postal addresses are given. I will try and write at the weekend.
  • by andyh3930 (605873) * on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:01PM (#22421834)
    If I do a days work I get paid a days wage, I don't see why it should be that much different for Musicians.

    If it takes 6 months to record an album why should they still get paid for the work in 90 years? Copyright time should be reduced, not increased After this time it would become freely distributable. If the time was reduced to 7-10 years this would surely promote creativity.

    However the artist should keep control if music was going to be used for other purpose other than listening (movie soundtrack or advert ) and be allowed to permit or deny such use.

    This would be a fairer system all round.

  • Cheers Charlie... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MosesJones (55544) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:01PM (#22421836) Homepage
    Ruddy hell there are some people who really do give the Irish a bad name....

    Charlie McCreevy [europa.eu] is an ex-Irish MP and a chartered accountant whose biggest role was as Minister for Finance in Ireland.

    Currently has no registered special interests of note, but damn he has come up with a stupid proposal. Even something sensible like "until death" would have met the requirements for people living longer whereas 95 years is just about the corporations behind the people.
    • Charlie McCreevy is an ex-Irish MP and a chartered accountant whose biggest role was as Minister for Finance in Ireland.


      McCreevy was in fact, sent off to Europe for the express purpose of exiling him from Irish Politics. Even in his own Free Market centric party, his policies were far too Thatcherite to let him continue to make his characteristically brash polemics. He gleefully accepted his "promotion" to European statesman, and his party, and indeed the country, breathed a collective sigh of relief.

      McCreevy has a history of giving tax breaks and other concessions to industries and business that he "approves of". Witness his institution of a 0% tax on bets made at horse race meetings (he's a big fan of the sport). He's a supply sider with little time for anything that doesn't immediately net money i.e., fair use, hospitals, etc. He's been mentioned before on Slashdot here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org]. The "loose cannon" quote is particularly apt.

      Charlie McCreevy is the type of politician lobbyists love. He'll wine and dine, brunch and lunch with all manner of industry representatives and indeed has by the looks of things. Rest assured that when he finally steps down from his post (forcing him out will require tectonic pressure) the entire European Parliment, and Union, will breath a collective sigh of relief.
  • Talk about encouraging laziness! Why should an 'artist' garner a lifetime income from a single thing? I install an OS on a server, should I be expected to get royalties for as long as that server is in operation? No, of course not, that's insane. Yet this is how recording companies, legislatures and even maybe some real artists see the world. Make once, get paid many. I guess that's par for the course in a world that makes life entirely too easy.
  • by a10_es (579819) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#22421856)
    if an artist is incapable of creating nothing more than a hit, is (s)he really an artist? should (s)he be able to live off of it? and why should this be limited to musical recordings only? why not ebooks or other digitally-storable artistical forms?
  • oh well (Score:3, Funny)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#22421868) Homepage Journal
    Not like anyone honors the copyright anyways.
  • Self defeating (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mprx (82435) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:02PM (#22421874)
    The more ridiculous the so called "intellectual property" laws become, the faster the remaining traces of respect the average person has for them will erode. While there's a valid argument for a short copyright term being beneficial to society, 95 years will only encourage people to ignore the law altogether.
    • Re:Self defeating (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:35PM (#22422438) Journal
      Mod parent up (more). I make a living from copyright, and this kind of proposal worries me. Copyright is a bargain between the creator and society. Society agrees to enforce a (limited, temporary) monopoly on my behalf, which is really great for me. In return, they get certain limited rights now and complete rights later.

      Gradually, this deal has been skewed more and more in my favour (w00t). The problem is, 100% of the bargaining power is on the side of society as a whole. If I don't like the copyright terms, what can I do? Stop writing and get a real job? Wow, that would suck.

      Let's look at what society really gets. Limited rights immediately? Well, kind of. Unfortunately, unscrupulous copyright holders are trying to take these away with DRM. Since governments haven't done the sensible thing, and made DRM and copyright an either-or proposition, society as a whole gets screwed and loses these short-term benefits. Well, what about the long term? They still get the works falling into the public domain, right? Well, in theory. Pop songs that were hits when my parents were at school are still under copyright. Stuff that written when my grandparents (who are all dead now) were at school is now falling into the public domain though...

      Eventually, the population is going to wake up and say 'wait a second, we aren't getting anything out of this.' Eventually? Well, the last poll I saw said that around 90% of the population infringed copyright on a regular basis, so 'eventually' really means 'now.' How long does it take for something that 90% of the population think is morally acceptable to get legalised? If we, as copyright holders, don't start proposing reasonable compromises, it won't be long before the population starts to realise that copyright only exists because they agree to enforce it and decide that a fairer deal is not to enforce it at all. If that happens, then there's really not a huge amount we can do.

  • by night_flyer (453866) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:03PM (#22421888) Homepage
    but I think the owner, must re-register the work ever once in a while, otherwise it can revert to the public domain. its a win for Disney who dont want to lose the mouse and it would be a win for the consumer who want an out of print song\book\movie that only they care about
  • What if that chick on the new Terminator series came out with a song? I mean, she probably lives forever and stuff. By this logic, copyright should be infinite. Terminator babes deserve equality.
  • Meanwhile if you invent a really cool technology that saves millions you only get payment for, what, 20 years?

    Seems a little disproportionate/unfair - I mean like a good tune as much as the next person, but I don't see it having the same impact as many new inventions can. Sounds harsh if the inventor of a third world solar powered incubator, or a new catheter, or a water purification kit gets money for only 20 years whilst the writer of the crazy frog can get money for 95. What is the world coming to?
  • Screw it! Someone copyright the damn dictionary and all words within and stop people from writing books and songs entirely. Yes. I know that's a moronic suggestion but, at the rate things are going, it'll sound more and more logical compared to the inane crap that politicians and lobby groups are suggesting... And I work in a creative industry where protecting the rights to my work is important to me, but this is so far beyond laughable now....
  • Workers are demanding to be compensated for their work for 95 years after leaving a business because everything they do is obviously copyrighted to them.
  • This is to protect the recording industry.
  • by rolfwind (528248) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:05PM (#22421942)
    a lifetime income? Can't they make enough profit off of it the first 50 or so ridiculously long years? Works often make the most money in the beginning of their life, not so many years later when it is no longer in synce with the zeitgeist that imbues so many creative products and fads.

    I can't get a lifetime income based on most work I did so many years ago. Neither do others.

    The purpose of copyright was to give an incentive to produce and publish material -- and have society benefit both by initially recieving it and then getting it in public domain. Enforcement costs money (police, courts, etcetera), so this time-limited monopoly was a fair arrangement.

    But by no means was it to guarantee an income for life. That seems a little too much for just any random creative work when others have to make a day to day living. Not that I believe "it's for the poor starving artists!" line anyway.
  • He also wishes to investigate options for new levies on blank discs, data storage and music and video players to compensate artists and copyright holders for 'legal copying when listeners burn an extra version of an album to play one at home and one in the car

    And, why should they be 'compensated' for it at all? I bought the CD. By my understanding of fair use, I'm fscking allowed to do that.

    Just because they want to convince people that they should get paid for media/place shifting, doesn't actually make

  • This is in "dog years" right?

  • Would this apply in the UK?

    Aren't some of the Beatles' earliest recordings going to be entering the public domain very soon unless the copyright terms are extended?
  • If it doesn't make a lifetime worth of income in the first year, it's very unlikely any publisher will bother with a work after a few years. If it hasn't made a tidy sum to invest in 50 years then it's been out of print for most of them.

    How many works are there that are over 14 years old, still generating royalties, and have not made enough money for the creator that they can comfortably retire for the next 95 years?
  • Many different points.

    1. The purpose of copyright is not to give someone a life-long income, the purpose is to give people incentives to create (in this case musical) works, which in turn helps society as a whole. I would like to see how 95 years instead of 50 years copyright will cause more music to be created.

    2. If the purpose is to give a life-long income to composers and musicians, then surely record companies and other companies should be excluded. So lets say: 95 years of copyright for the co
  • Lifetime income? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arthurh3535 (447288) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:27PM (#22422332)
    "lifetime income to artists who recorded hits in their late teens or early twenties, he said."????

    When does everyone else get to have lifetime income too? And this only includes productions that were recorded way back when. There is nothing stopping said artist from re-recording a newer version of that hit song (best of...) that will have the same copyright protections.

    Why do artists and government officials think that Copyright means 'money for forever?'
  • WHAT? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Card (30431) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @01:29PM (#22422354) Homepage

    People are living longer and 50 years of copyright protection no longer give lifetime income to artists who recorded hits in their late teens or early twenties

    The commissioner is either ignorant or lying. I don't know which one is worse.

    The chosen term was 70 years from the death of the author (post mortem auctoris) for authors' rights (Art. 1), longer than the 50 year post mortem auctoris term required by the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Art. 7.1 Berne Convention). (Wikipedia [wikipedia.org])

    He should mean that the artists' children can enjoy the royalties for mere 50 years after their parent has died. Cry me a river.

  • More Than Greed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:02PM (#22422918)
    This is more than Greed. It's outright theft of the Public Domain. PD is gone for the rest of the lives of everyone living now - which is no different than forever.

    Back when the USA was first being founded, copyrights were eternal in Europe. America thought this was a Bad Idea, and put the words "secure for a limited term" into its founding document to stop this abuse. Europe eventually agreed, and eternal copyrights ended.

    But now, with a pansy Supreme Court that decides that whatever a bought-off Congress calls a "limited term" they're just fine with, we're headed straight back to the eternal copyright, because nobody remembers any longer just why that was such a bad idea in the first place.

    And then its a game of ping-pong, with the very same copyright lobby ratcheting the length of time up one place, than then screaming their heads off that everywhere else isn't "up to date" with "artist protections." Wash - Rinse - Repeat. And we're all being screwed over by it.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday February 14, 2008 @02:23PM (#22423262)
    The very worst sin of all here is the extending of already existing copyrights. This does nothing to encourage of that work, which was already created under the old copyright terms. This simply says, "Give more money to the company who now owns the copyright, because they'll use some of it to contribute to my next reelection campaign."

    More than anything else to stand up against is: NO EXTENSIONS OF EXISTING COPYRIGHT TERMS!

"Catch a wave and you're sitting on top of the world." - The Beach Boys

Working...