House of Commons report pushes for musicians’ copyright extension

Nuala Calvi
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Musicians have a “moral right” to benefit from royalties on their recordings for at least 70 years, MPs have decided.

A report by the House of Commons culture committee calls for an extension of the current 50-year term for copyright on sound recordings.

It warns that 7,000 artists risk losing royalties on their work over the next decade unless the law is changed.

Performers are at a disadvantage to songwriters, whose families own the copyright on their work for 70 years after their death.

A statement from the committee said: “We have not heard a convincing reason why a composer and his or her heirs should benefit from a term of copyright which extends for lifetime and beyond, but a performer should not.”

The decision is in direct contrast to an earlier report by Andrew Gowers, which rejected an extension to the term of copyright.

Royalty collection organisation Phonographic Performance Ltd commended the committee’s report.

PPL chair Fran Nevrkla said: “Calls to extend copyright term have now been backed by 75 MPs across the political parties and when the government responds to the select committee, we hope they will show their support for musicians and the record industry.”

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