Here we go again. And again. The House of Commons’ culture, media and sport committee has come out in defence of performers’ rights to extended copyright terms, in defiance of the recent, extensive Gowers report into just this sort of issue. “We strongly believe that copyright represents a moral right of a creator to choose to retain ownership and control of their own intellectual property,” they splutter. They may be right, but what have timetables (50 years, 70 years) got to do with moral rights? And the argument that “[Session musicians] will also no longer benefit from sales just at a time when the long tail enabled by online retailing may be creating a market for their product once again,” is just cynical, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the supposed ‘moral right’ of copyright. It’s just dumb luck, sorry. Make a new record if you want to benefit from the new market.
The money quote, however, is this:
Given the strength and importance of the creative industries in the UK, it seems extraordinary that the protection of intellectual property rights should be weaker here than in many other countries whose creative industries are less successful.
I think they’ve answered their own question. How about:
Given that the protection of intellectual property rights is weaker here than in many other countries whose creative industries are less successful, the strength and importance of the creative industries in the UK is not surprising.
Elsewhere, in the realm of the much more serious, Matthew Guerrieri has cast his planned musical on the lives and loves of the Second Viennese School; and Daniel Wolf continues to write some of my favourite blogging of the moment.