UnNews:UK copyright extension needed to motivate deceased artists

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UK copyright extension needed to motivate deceased artists

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11 January 2007

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Without an extension of copyright, the dead might never record again.

TIN PAN ALLEY, Gowers, Wednesday (U! News) — The British Phonographic Institute has called upon the government to increase the copyright term for sound recordings in the UK to 95 years from the present 50, to achieve harmonisation with the United States. In support of this, the BPI placed an advertisement in the Financial Times in December listing forty thousand musicians who support their position — including deceased performers such as Freddie Garrity (died 2006), Lonnie Donegan (died 2002), Jimmy Shand (died 2000) and Chuck Berry (died 1997) [1].

Without an extension of the term to 95 years, these deceased artists are not expected to bother with any further recordings, performances or even songwriting.

Sir Cliff Richard (died 1961) explained their position. "Performers in the UK currently receive payments for 50 years, at which point their work goes out of copyright. The motivation goes right out of you. If I'd known in 1958, when the copyright in 'Move It' was due to expire in 2008, that the copyright in 'Move It' would in fact expire in 2008, would I have bothered? I don't bloody think so!

"Remember that I am a born-again Christian and non-drinker, so beer and hookers mean and meant nothing to me. Money, of course, is next to Godliness."

The British Phonographic Industry has campaigned for parity with the US, which has a 95-year term. "It is not about Cliff Richard or the Bee Gees," said BPI shill Pete Wishart. "It is about Cliff Richard's percussion player and Robin Gibb's bass player, people who had the once in a lifetime opportunity to appear on a royalty-generating hit record. For which they were paid one-off session fees. When we didn't manage to fiddle the accounting not to pay them those either. It's them we're speaking for.

"The opportunity cost to our culture is incalculable. I urge you to picture a world in which Girls Aloud and Jason Donovan have no motivation to record."

The government-commissioned Cowell Report recommended that copyright should be reduced to one year, software patents made a hanging offence, Mickey Mouse declared an unperson and musicians told to stop whining and get a real bloody job like the rest of us. "It's not like there's some sort of national shortage of bad pop records," said Sir Simon, "although a world in which Jive Bunny recordings irretrievably disintegrate into dust before they could possibly enter the public domain does have a certain appeal. Nevertheless, demotivation for surplus pop star wannabes is desperately needed. I urge you to picture a world in which Girls Aloud and Jason Donovan have no motivation to record."

Members of the public were unconvinced. "Liek wtf d00d?" said spoilt middle-class teenager KT Myspce. "Just copy teh damn floppy off Soulseek."

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