Recently the Green Party proposed reducing copyright term to 14 years after death, to encourage creativity through a more regularly refreshed public domain.
Fans of Copyright history will be aware that the Statute Of Anne initially prescribed a copyright term of 14 years, and the 1842 Copyright Act provided the first post-life term of 7 years. The term has continuously lengthened and now stands at life plus 70 years for literary and musical works, and sound recordings recently increased from 50 to 70 years.
BritishBlackMusic.com/Black Music Congress and CultureTalkClub in association with City Law School have created a Talking Copyright forum for discussing the contentious topic of term reduction.
This British Black Music Month (BBMM2015) event is open to music fans, musicians, songwriters, academics, legal eagles, and music industry and IP/copyright practitioners.
Panellists: Sian Berry (Green Party spokesperson and 2016 London Mayoral candidate), Vick Bain (BASCA CEO), Jim Killock (Open Rights Group Executive Director), Hugh Francis (songwriter/music publisher); co-chairs Enrico Bonadio (City University London Law School senior lecturer) & Kwaku (BBM/BMC founder)
Friday June 19, 6-9pm
Room A110, College Building, City University London, St John Street, London EC1V 4PB (The building is marked "A": http://www.city.ac.uk/visit#9541=1)
Free, but must pre-book via www.BBM.eventbrite.com
I do and do not agree with the Green Party, that the term should be reduced back to 14 years after death. 14 years is a long time to maintain a copyright especially after passing, but for works of art we want to make sure we are giving that artist the respect that they earned. With our laws sometimes it is hard for the family to receive their royalties right away. At 70 years that it is at now, I feel is too long and needs to be somewhere in between. When the term is to long it does hinder creativity and needs to be released so that it free to the public. With the term being so long it amplifies the number of people that are copying and illegal downloading the artist’s content. “In its ongoing battle against illegal music downloading , the entertainment industry relentlessly lobbies for more stringent laws intended to stop(or at least slow down) widespread distribution of music and video files on the Internet via peer-to-peer” (Ess.2014). We want to make sure we are being ethical and showing respect, but I get why the Green party wants to reduce the 70 year term.
Ess, C. (2014). Copying and Distributing via Digital Media. In Digital media ethics (Second ed., p. 91).
When life expectancies in London were about 50 years (or less), life plus 70 made some sense, but these days it does not make much sense. Given that child prodigies are rare (outside Maths and to some degree music)- most 'things' are published when their author is at least 20 + years old , then surely 60 years from publication date should be a, maximum, for the length of the term of copyright?
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