The term of protection for sound recordings and performers' rights in the United Kingdom will be extended as of the 1st of November, to bring UK law into line with Europe, and implement Directive 2011/77/EU.
The Directive to extend the term of protection for performers and sound recordings to 70 years was adopted on the 12th September 2011. The aim of the Directive is to bring performers’ protection more in line with that already given to authors – 70 years after their death - and the Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013 will extend copyright term for sound recordings and performers' rights in sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. The extension of the term of protection will apply only to those sound recordings that are in copyright on 1 November 2013. The Regulations do not have the effect of bringing back into copyright those sound recordings whose copyright has expired.
Additional measures in the Directive, which will be implemented by the Regulations, include some of the issues raised earlier by the Music Managers Forum amongst others, when answering the question raised in the Gower's Review, which asked what "alternative arrangements" could accompany any extension of term.
- that record producers set aside 20% of all revenues from the sales of sound recordings for a fund for session artists who will share equally in any revenues from both physical and digital sales (although as one of our readers noted - it will be interesting to see who administers this fund ...... and at what cost);
- that if a record label is not commercially releasing a track that is over 50 years old, then the performers can request that the rights in the performance revert to them - a 'use it or lose it' provision;
-a 'clean slate' provision that prevents the producer from deducting advance payments from royalties after 50 years;
- alignment of the term of protection for the music and lyrics in a musical composition. The Directive provides that where the music and lyrics in such a musical composition are written specifically for each other, the term of copyright in each shall last until 70 years following
the death of the last surviving of both (or all) of the creators.
The IPO has published a User's Guide to the Directive and more here.