An abusive reform of copyright law

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Paul McCartney with an Epiphone Casino at Live...

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It seems being rich can still buy you changes in the law – because there is no public interest justification for today’s European-wide agreement on a change of the law on recordings.

Let us remind ourselves what copyright law is for – when I say or do something in public then, by definition , it is in the public domain. Copyright law gives an exception to that to encourage innovation and enterprise. In that sense it is a good thing: it provides an incentive to make or do things for financial reward by making sure others cannot immediately use my work to their advantage.

But who can really say that that incentive is increased if a recording I make is copyright protected for 70 years as opposed to 50? It is plainly a nonsense and the law makers who have agreed it should be ashamed for putting the private interests of a few, already wealthy, performers, such as Cliff Richard and Paul McCartney, ahead of the public interest.

In short the law is being bent to serve private interests.

And extending copyright in this way does the exact opposite of what the original protection was designed to achieve – an encouragement of innovation. Because every remixer is now to be denied access to recording.

Truly dead labour has triumphed over the living in this case.