The “extension of the pension” in music rights continues

extension of the pension


The action, ostensibly for the purpose of providing a pension for the musicians, is actually a cataract of millions of euros for the 4 major recording companies.

There is no doubt that the current “hot topic” in rights circles is the upcoming trial of The Pirate Bay. The trial, which has been called “The political trial of the decade” has been covered extensively by news agencies. With the news so focused on this issue, it seems that the EU is trying to slip something that goes unnoticed by the media.

The Legal Affairs Committee in the European Parliament has approved the resolution to extend the term of copyright, as we have discussed in the past, from 50 to 95 years in the recordings. This will now move to a plenary vote in March.

The option for this extension has been consid- erable. Last month, the Open Rights Group (ORG) held a panel discussion with several academics and MEPs, including at least one member of the Legal Affairs Committee, while major critics of the proposal have appeared in influential newspapers last year.

Crucially, the main benefit boasted by Commissioner McCreevy, that it is for the benefit of session musicians and the like, is significantly diminished by an amendment of the committee that grants the administration to the collective societies. Of course, that is to assume that you can prove your right to that money.  speaking at the round table at the ORG, recordings related to music sessions were not common until very recently.

Perhaps worst of all, the committee has asked the Commission to conduct an impact study based around the extension of the term, in video performances for a similar sum.Although the study will surely show that there will be little benefit, except for the largest producers of content, when producing that extension, it will probably be ignored (as the study that says the same in this case was ignored), and the proposal will continue.

There is a ray of hope, however, and that is that there is a requirement to review the social situation of artists in 3 years of time, and then every 4 years, to see how things have developed. This may prevent any future extension in this matter, but the nonexistent charge for the benefit of the artists in this, can motivate them to leave things as they were. Or, they can decide to make the term even longer .

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