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Re: [ARSCLIST] Britain reverses position on copyright extension

You have confused two different types of copyrights, personal and corporate/collective/work-for-hire. The statements you have quoted do not cover the sound recordings themselves, and that is the subject -- the only subject -- that is being discussed in this thread. Songs, books, paintings, and other individually created works are copyright by the people who created them, with a term length that is based on the lifetime of the last remaining creator. Phonorecords, films, and other works that are created by a company are in a different category. These have a fixed term that was originally 75 years from fixation (I accidentally put down 70.) The standard in all the other countries for this category of copyright, including the countries mentioned in the E.U. directive, was 50 years. . The E.U. directive mentioned here only extended the personal copyright. The Bono bill also included the corporate/collective copyright. The Bono bill lengthened the corporate/collective copyright to 95 years while the length most countries remained, and still remain, at 50. ("Those with longer terms include India (60 years), Australia, Singapore, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Turkey (70 years), Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala (75 years) and Columbia (80 years). None have a term as long as that of the U.S.")

There is not any real problem with the copyright length for things like songs because there is a compulsory licensing which requires that any song that has been recorded once MUST be licensed to be recorded by anybody who applies for a mechanical. They can't refuse your right to record their song. But there is no such requirement built into the copyright laws for the sound recording. Even if the performer wants to make use of their own recording the record company CAN REFUSE because the company owns the copyright, not the performer. Sure the performer could own the company and/or own the copyright, but that is not the general way the record industry has been run. Sometimes a performer can be able to buy back their recordings such as what Stan Kenton did with Creative Artists and Andy Williams did with Barnaby. But the company can refuse to sell or name a huge price. (". . . the Recording Artist Groups, comprising the Future of Music Coalition, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the American Federation of Musicians, has recommended that a compulsory license should be available to the performing artist once a recording is out of print for two (2) years.")

You might notice that in the EC proposal of a couple of months ago there was a provision that required the companies to either use the recordings within a year after the 50 year original term or else the copyrights would be put into a compulsory licensing status. Almost like "use it or lose it" except they can get a statutory licensing fee. But that is not part of any American proposal, but Sam Brylawski, Tim Brooks, ARSC, and some other organizations are trying to lobby Congress to put in an abandonment-type of clause in our law that might release unused copyrights into a fair use/public domain status.

http://www.arsc-audio.org/copyright-recommendations.html http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/gowers

Mike Biel mbiel@xxxxxxxxx

Bob Olhsson wrote:
-----Original Message-----
>From Michael Biel: "...The Bono act brought a 70 year term -- already longer
than any other term in the world -- to a 90 year term. So how can you include the Bono act in the category of : "the purpose of bringing each country's copyright term in line with all of the others..."

from http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/T?&report=sr315&dbname=104&;
"The purpose of the bill is to ensure adequate copyright protection for
American works in foreign nations and the continued economic benefits of a
healthy surplus balance of trade in the exploitation of copyrighted works.
The bill accomplishes these goals by extending the current U.S. copyright
term for an additional 20 years. Such an extension will provide significant
trade benefits by substantially harmonizing U.S. copyright law to that of
the European Union while ensuring fair compensation for American creators
who deserve to benefit fully from the exploitation of their works. Moreover,
by stimulating the creation of new works and providing enhanced economic
incentives to preserve existing works, such an extension will enhance the
long-term volume, vitality and accessibility of the public domain."

" Thirty five years ago, the Permanent Committee of the Berne Union began to
reexamine the sufficiency of the life-plus-50-year term of protection. In
the intervening years, the inadequacy of the life-plus-50-year term to
protect creators in an increasingly competitive global marketplace has
become more apparent, leading to actions by several nations to increase the
duration of copyright. Most significantly, the nations of the European Union
issued a directive from the Council of the European Communities in 1993,
committing the member countries to implement a term of protection equal to
the life of the author plus 70 years by July 1, 1995.14


[Footnote] 14Id.

To date, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain,
Sweden, and the United Kingdom have all complied with the EU Directive.
Furthermore, Portugal has recognized a perpetual term of protection for much
of this century. Other countries are currently in the process of bringing
their laws into compliance. In addition, as the Register of Copyrights,
Marybeth Peters, testified before the Committee, countries seeking to join
the EU, such as Poland, Hungary, Turkey, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria,
are likely to amend their copyright laws to comply with the EU Directive.15"

Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined! 615.385.8051 http://www.hyperback.com http://www.thewombforums.com

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