Bid to extend copyright laws rejected by ministers

  • 27 July 2007

Musicians have spoken out at the UK government’s decision not to extend music copyright laws, keeping a 50-year limit on the time artists receive royalties. The Who singer Roger Daltrey, Sir Cliff Richard and The Jam’s bassist Bruce Foxton are among those campaigning against the extension, claiming many artists have no pensions and rely on royalties. Under the existing law, Daltrey will stop receiving royalties on his early recordings in seven years. He said musicians from that era had contributed hugely to the British economy, adding: “They are not asking for a handout, just a fair reward for their creative endeavours.” The government claims changing the 50-year rule would make little difference to artists - who often have to pass royalties back to their record labels - and ultimately the consumer would have to pay increased costs. The period of time in which performers keep copyright in the US is 95 years, with 70 years in Australia. Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the UK music industry trade body of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), said: “This was a test of government support for British music, which it has failed.”

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