Extension of copyright term postponed in the European Parliament
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As a result of the very large controversy and lack of consensus among MEPs, in a meeting of the presidents of the political groups in the European Parliament on 17 March 2009, the vote on the extension of the copyright term, which was due for 23 March 2009, was postponed for the end of April 2009.
The proposed directive, introduced by Commissioner McCreevy, was to extend copyright from 50 to 90 years and was allegedly meant to support performers during their old age. As the many opponents to the proposal have emphasized and as several studies have shown, the extension would mostly benefit the major multinational companies and would negatively affect the economy and culture of Europe.
Professor Martin Kretschmer, Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management Bournmemouth considered the measure would be beneficial to the four multinational record companies Universal, Sony BMG, Warner Music and EMI owning almost all the key records to be covered by the extension, a few major artists and the collecting societies.
According to the calculation of the European Commission's own figures, most of the performers would only receive about 52 euro/year while according to the EDRi-member Open Rights Group's estimation, 80% of the performers would receive only 0.5 to 27 euro/year. Even if we take into consideration the Commission's figure, the amount is far from helping aging performers.
The Association for Fair Audiovisual Copyright in Europe ("A Face"), a group including individuals and associations of the European audiovisual community, has joined other voices against the directive and initiated a petition against it. "We regard the proposed Directive, and any other one based on similar principles and affecting the audiovisual world, as detrimental to the development and dissemination of European culture and economy, which are among the basic missions of the European Parliament. For this reason, we intend to actively oppose their approval and call everybody to support this cause" is the statement of the group. Face's goal is to make sure copyright does not deviate from its initial purpose of "protecting the interest of right holders only to the extent a general progress of culture is assured."
At the end of March, a discussion between the European Commission, European Council and the European Parliament will decide whether the directive will be allowed to be furthers discussed in the European Parliament.
MEPs back off from copyright term extension vote! (19.03.2009)
Copyright extension debate: We must not inhibit digital creators
Association for Fair Audiovisual Copyright in Europe Petition of the
european audiovisual community against the proposed directive for a
copyright term Extension for sound recordings
EDRI- gram: Reject the Term Extension Directive (21.01.2009)