07 November 2006

Let My Music Go

There is a mini-disaster looming in the UK: the music industry wants to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings. It would be bad enough if they did this for the future, but the danger is that it might be applied retrospectively, taking music currently in the public domain, and locking it up for another couple of generations.

This is scandalously greedy, since extending copyrights will rarely benefit the original creators of the music: it is the music labels that usually own the copyrights. And it certainly won't encourage groups like the Beatles to write more classics, for the simple reason that they can't - a clear demonstration of the specious logic generally used to justify the copyright extension, that it will encourage more creativity.

Though the gains may be marginal and misplaced, the losses will be real and general. To fight this iniquitous situation, there's a new campaign: it's called Release The Music. If you want to find out about the copyright issues there's more on the site.

They say that a gentleman only supports lost causes, and so I urge you to support what is almost certainly a no-hoper given the current political climate and the influence the record industry wields. (Via Lessig's Blog.)

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