Culture Secretary open to “extending the term”

July 2008

Record labels 

UK Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said he would keep an “open mind” when it came to the copyright term for sound recordings, currently protected for 50 years in the UK and Europe, when speaking at the Annual General Meeting of UK recording royalty collecting society PPL. The record label’s campaign to extend the term has had produced a mixed reaction from Government. The UK government’s Gowers Review of intellectual property laws recommended that the copyright term for recorded music stay at the current 50 years, despite calls from across the record industry to increase it – either by bring it closer to the 95 years awarded to recordings in the US or to run parallel with the rights of composers and songwriters whose works are protected for their life plus 70 years. But EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has been more supportive of proposals for a term extension and Burnham said that he would “take a close look at McCreevy’s details when they are revealed later in the summer. I understand the issues and will engage constructively in the process and join in the debate with my European counterparts”. During a Q&A session that Burnham added that he had an “open mind” on the copyright term issue, calling the whole thing a “work in progress” and again stressing the importance of the European debate on the issue..

From the CMU Daily

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