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EU music recordings copyright to be extended to 70 years


J.A.W.
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I presume that Hep will be in a similar position . Bizarre decision

Why is it a bizarre decision? Because it will affect Hep too?

Bizarre because it's apparently retrospective which is unusual I would have thought. Nothing to with Hep but I named them as they have never been labelled one of the bad guys in the past but appear to have the full force of the EU heading their way.

My main problem with public-domain labels (or at least some of them) is, that they stole transfers and masterings that were researched, done and paid for by others. As far as I know Hep or Frog never did such a thing.

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Well, there are plenty of generally accepted "goody guys", such as Hep, JSP (at least in JRT Davies days), Chrono Classics or Masters of Jazz (both dead for a while now) that will be/would have been affected.

It's really not that simple a question and the happy smiley in J.A.W.'s first post isn't quite how I feel about it.

The majors after all have quite completely withdrawn from keeping their legacy alive, and now they'll get the legal tools to keep others from trespassing... these privileges shouldn't come without any obligation from the "owning" side - at least in my own utopian ideal world, that is.

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As a tiny label owner, it has been really hard to compete for $ when so many of these imports are flooding the market. These issues are not burdened with artist and/or studio expenses. It is triply hard to sell a new recording or thoughtful reissue (at a break even price) when the market is flooded with bargain priced discs by big name artists without the same expenses.

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Wonder how this will affect Allen Lowe's Really the Blues? I have been eager for an eventual release of volume 2.

So this will make illegal all JSP copies of 2011's Acadian All Star Special? Music from the immediate post World War II era. This material had never even made it from 78s and 45s to the long playing record era, much less the CD and iTunes eras, and since it was not in the public domain and possible to reproduce without legal fears it was lost to several generations of musicians. That's a lot of culture lost. That's something to smile about? What a world!

Somebody's not subtle. Why in the world is there ONE law to cover situations as different as this mean THEFT from the public domain and Chuck Nessa's issues, which I can totally agree about with him?

Edited by Neal Pomea
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Wonder how this will affect Allen Lowe's Really the Blues? I have been eager for an eventual release of volume 2.

I've been wondering about that too.

So this will make illegal all JSP copies of 2011's Acadian All Star Special? Music from the immediate post World War II era. This material had never even made it from 78s and 45s to the long playing record era, much less the CD and iTunes eras, and since it was not in the public domain and possible to reproduce without legal fears it was lost to several generations of musicians. That's a lot of culture lost. That's something to smile about? What a world!

No wanting to sidetrack this discussion, but as far as I can see this set is not on JSP but on Bear Family (and its price is quite un-JSP-ish too ;)). And I think Bear Family have got their ground covere in this respect, at least in those cases where reissues focusing on individual labels (such as J.D. Miller's labels in this case) are concerned.

But the entire royalty idea the way it is enforced now is plain silly anyhow. Who is to benefit from music NOT being marketed? And this is what is going to happen.

As if 50 years after the fact weren't time enough for reaping a well-merited amount of income from that music. 50 years is a long time span. In the times where politicians are openly discussion steep increases of taxes on inheritances in the name of skimming off earnings from "income not generated from ones' OWN efforts" (and paying royalties for music of close to 50 - and now even 70 - years ago often amounts to paying to artists' estates, i.e. heirs only, not to the artists, so it is quite comparable) a law like this is just one other step towards the general trend of making the rich even richer.

Especially since I doubt that a fair amount will actually go to the allegedly underpaid session musicans. Especially if these are not the ones commoly associated with a given recording.

Edited by Big Beat Steve
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The copyright term extension will NOT be retroactive.

The text will extend to 70 years the protection of the recordings which are still protected at the date at which the EU countries must have transposed the directive, which is 2 years from the entry into force.

So if the directive is now quickly approved and enters into force this year, the extension will apply to all recordings made after 1963.

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The copyright term extension will NOT be retroactive.

The text will extend to 70 years the protection of the recordings which are still protected at the date at which the EU countries must have transposed the directive, which is 2 years from the entry into force.

So if the directive is now quickly approved and enters into force this year, the extension will apply to all recordings made after 1963.

I still think it is a terrible decision, and there is nothing that to suggest that when the US extends copyright again (which it surely will) the EU won't eventually go along. But being retroactive would have made it even more problematic.

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The copyright term extension will NOT be retroactive.

The text will extend to 70 years the protection of the recordings which are still protected at the date at which the EU countries must have transposed the directive, which is 2 years from the entry into force.

So if the directive is now quickly approved and enters into force this year, the extension will apply to all recordings made after 1963.

According to several articles I read it WILL be retroactive. Here are two articles:

article

article

Edited by J.A.W.
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I'm rather indifferent to the decision, because I think the debate is foremost ideological. I'm personally not interested in public domain reissues, because of their often questionable quality, and because they are overpriced (strangely often more expensive than the official midprice reissues)

With the current solution, the public domain labels can continue with their business but their reissue horizon will be limited to 1963 for the next 20 years. Maybe they can benefit from the "use it or lose it"-clause in the directive, which allows them to reissue material that is not being kept available (on disc or as downloads) by the rightholders.

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Hans, that depends on the definition of "retroactive". The Commission calls it "partly retroactive".

"Non-retroactive" would mean the 70 year duration only applies to works created after the entry into force of the directive (which would of course miss the objective of keeping the music from the 1960s and later under protection)

"Fully retroactive" would mean that the directive applies the 70 year protection to everything, which means that recordings fallen into the public domain would be protected again. That would be catastrophic for the CD commerce, as thousands of public domain CDs would have to be sold quickly until the deadline or be destroyed.

"Partly retroactive" means the longer duration is applied to all recordings which are still protected. That's a much smoother solution, and the one that was chosen.

It's explained on page 56 of the impact assessment document: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/term-protection/term-protection_en.htm

The text of the directive says

"5. Article 3 (1) and (2) in their version as amended by Directive [// insert: Nr. of the amending directive] shall continue to apply only to fixations of performances and phonograms in regard of which the performer and the phonogram producer are still protected, by virtue of these provisions, on [insert date before which Member States are to transpose the amending directive, as mentioned in Article 2 below]."
Edited by Claude
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Hans, that depends on the definition of "retroactive". The Commission calls it "partly retroactive".

"Non-retroactive" would mean the 70 year duration only applies to works created after the entry into force of the directive (which would of course miss the objective of keeping the music from the 1960s and later under protection)

"Fully retroactive" would mean that the directive applies the 70 year protection to everything, which means that recordings fallen into the public domain would be protected again. That would be catastrophic for the CD commerce, as thousands of public domain CDs would have to be sold quickly until the deadline or be destroyed.

"Partly retroactive" means the longer duration is applied to all recordings which are still protected. That's a much smoother solution, and the one that was chosen.

It's explained on page 56 of the impact assessment document: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/copyright/term-protection/term-protection_en.htm

The text of the directive says

"5. Article 3 (1) and (2) in their version as amended by Directive [// insert: Nr. of the amending directive] shall continue to apply only to fixations of performances and phonograms in regard of which the performer and the phonogram producer are still protected, by virtue of these provisions, on [insert date before which Member States are to transpose the amending directive, as mentioned in Article 2 below]."

Thanks for quoting the directive, Claude. The "partly retroactive" distinction wasn't made in the articles I've read.

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This document accessible under one of the links provided by J.A.W. should be worthy of further consideration in this debate.

http://irights.info/userfiles/Schutzfrist_A5_engl_final%281%29.pdf

It sums up the case AGAINST extending the copyright, and upon a quick glance does so quite validly IMHO.

Too late now to stop things, probably, but interesting for recurrent debates such as this one here, especially if the fate of those poor musicians suffering from "bootlegs" is bemoaned again. The case ain't THAT clear-cut when it comes to who is ultimately benefitting from it all and what is likely to be reissued at all.

But referring to the last post by Claude above, I think the major issue to us collectors is that this protection does not apply to recordings that have already fallen into the public domain.

(My long-overdue mass order from Fresh Sound/Blue Moon wil go out shortly anyhow ... ;))

So if I got this right it seems like it's "only" post-1961 or -1963 (depending how you look at it) recordings that will be off limits to further collector "public domain" niche labels from now on.

Edited by Big Beat Steve
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One thing that grates about this is the sense that it is a response to pressure from business interests in the US. I can appreciate it must be annoying to have European imports going against US laws - but that should be an issue of US law enforcement, not a capitulation of Europe to US choices (and I know that is not the only pressure for this change).

Anyway, when it comes to post-1963 music which is generally album assembled the cat is already out of the bag via illegal downloads.

I intend to protest by completing my Cliff Richard collection via alternative internet sites.

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Great! Now I can expect the big companies to do really nice, complete re-issues of everything recorded by Bunny Berigan, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, and on and on...or not.

Without Classics, Hep, Frog, JSP, etc, I would have heard less than 10% of their recorded output. Still isn't as much as many fans would like to see, and now never will be.

Guess some of these companies will now make deals to have music released from Russia, or China! :shrug[1]:

Edited by BERIGAN
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Great! Now I can expect the big companies to do really nice, complete re-issues of everything recorded by Bunny Berigan, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Louis Armstrong, and on and on...or not.

Without Classics, Hep, Frog, JSP, etc, I would have heard less than 10% of their recorded output. Still isn't as much as many fans would like to see, and now never will be.

Guess some of these companies will now make deals to have music released from Russia, or China! :shrug[1]:

Claude, I didn't see page two somehow, and didn't read your posts... :rolleyes:

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When this was first discussed here in the initial planning stages, someone stated they would have get it done just before the Beatles recordings reached the 50-year public domain zone. Well, here ya go!

I think it took an awful lot of lobbying to get this through. The proposal was blocked in the EU Council (the governements) for many months. At one point, it was so close that Luxembourg (which has few votes in the Council due to it's size) had the decisive vote, and the pro-extension lobby had Bono himself make a phone call to one of our ministers. It didn't work though. But in the end, they managed to turn one blocking governement around. Maybe Elvis called :)

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and the pro-extension lobby had Bono himself make a phone call to one of our ministers.

Would that be 'I'm too great and mighty to pay my taxes in Ireland' Bono? Relieved to hear his retirement is secure thanks to this change.

Edited by A Lark Ascending
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