5:02 PM GMT 17/05/2013
The European Union has unveiled plans to extend musicians’ copyright on recorded music from 50 years to 95 years.
The new scheme means that the copyright owners will continue to receive the royalties for the rest of their lives.
Under current UK laws, the copyright on early rock ‘n’ roll recordings will expire within the next few years. Any label could then reissue the records to be sold at a massively reduced price without having to pay the rights owner for the royalties.
Sir Cliff Richard's first hits would go out of copyright on January 1 2009 and the country could be awash with cheap Beatles' records by 2013. But as Fergal Sharkey, former Undertones singer and current Chief Executive of British Music Rights notes, the move has potentially greater implications for lesser-known musicians. Sharkey told the BBC: “I am especially pleased that the announcement focuses on the 'invisible' members of our industry - the musicians, engineers and session players whose names are hidden away in the liner notes and credits. It is they, and not just 'featured' artists and record labels, who could derive real benefits from this move - and at a time in life when their earning power would be severely diminished.
Posted by Ross_Bennett at 5:00 PM GMT 17/07/2008