10 December 2006

Ageing rockers and evergreen stars in cash plea

Some of the most famous names in music, including Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff Richard, U2, Yoko Ono, Barry Gibb, Petula Clark and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, were among 4,500 artists who put their names to a newspaper advertisement, calling on the government to extend the copyright in sound recordings to 95 years. se also Dead musicians sign petition in FT (Lawrence Lessig). For almost 10 years now, I've been waging a war against retrospective term extension. My simple argument has been that copyright is about creative incentives, and you can't create incentives retrospectively. I now see I am apparently wrong. An ad in the FT listed 4,000 musicians who supported retrospective term extension. At least some of these artists are apparently dead (e.g. Lonnie Donegan, died 4th November 2002; Freddie Garrity, died 20th May 2006). I take it the ability of these dead authors to sign a petition asking for their copyright terms to be extended can only mean that even after death, term extension continues to inspire.