Thursday, November 27, 2008

Its All About Content and Rights

As we all ponder over how we reward the creators of content in this new digital era we must realize that the issue covers all media and content. It was interesting to read the BBC article this week on ‘Musicians urge copyright change’.

A video message featuring 29 musicians and on behalf of 38,000 UK’s musicians has been sent to Gordon Brown. The message asked him to extend their copyright protection in line with composers and authors who currently enjoy a further 20 years of protection. The European Copyright Term Directive is proposing to extend all protection in sound recordings a further 15 years to 95 years but this apparently is being not supported by the UK government who believe that the majority of the benefit will flow to the major labels.

The issue is about principle more than money with the vast majority of musicians earning less than £15,000 a year and the potential earnings from the extension being negligible for all but the major labels and a handful of very famous performers. In addition the EC has pointed out that new artists earnings will be diluted royalties from airplay will have to be shared with the estates of deceased performing artists.
So we have copyright at the heart of all media and the digital world now enables new opportunities and usage that was never previously envisaged. The preservation of the principles of copyright in all media are now more important and need full debate before change but they also need to be consistent across all participants.

The other area that now becomes important is that rights ownership is well documented, managed, and accessible that obviates the potential land grabs that threaten the book market today. It is amazing that any media industry that is about content and rights, does not have a centralized, independently managed and funded rights clearing center today.


Mind Booster Noori said...

Please check this ORG article. What's on the tables is bad.

Anders Norgaard said...

If the proposal of extended copyright privileges is about any principle - it is the principle that outdated businesses (in this case record companies) with failed business models will invariably try to lobby government to hand them money at the expense of freedom, culture and money of the citizens.

As you say the proposal will benefit almost exclusively record companies

If we want to support artists, there are other ways which are not harmful to consumers and society.