26 November 2008

The BBC Blows it Again

More incisive reporting from the BBC - not. This time, it concerns the move to extend performers' copyright from 50 to 70 years. The UK Government - to its credit - is resisting, because it makes no sense economically: copyright is meant to encourage *new* creation, not reward existing work.

Increasing the copyright term will cannot encourage people who have already created (absent time machines), offers marginal additional incentive to those who might create, but represents a massive loss for the public domain. Alas, the musicians - and the BBC - don't seem to get this:

A video message on behalf of 38,000 UK musicians has been sent to Gordon Brown urging him to back an extension of their copyright protection.

The musicians, many of whom have worked with major artists, say they risk losing their income under current laws.

The BBC has sunk to new depths of sloppy reporting by failing even to mention why there might be another side to this story - choosing, instead, to peddle the musicians' sob-story:

"The amount of revenue that's been brought into this country by these people is quite staggering. Now we require the government to help us out a little bit and show perhaps a bit of gratitude."

He added: "Instead they choose to kick us in the face and ignore our campaign to extend the copyright for these people and their estate."

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