(747) PETE WISHART’S COPYRIGHT BILL: RUNRIG PENSION RIGHTS
Thanks to the IP-Kat blog for alerting Scots Law News to the Bill apparently to be put before the Westminster Parliament by Pete Wishart, SNP MP and former member of the folk rock group from Skye called Runrig (see http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/ for 22 February 2008, More copyright please, says SNP MP). The Bill’s title is almost self-explanatory: Sound Recordings (Copyright Term Extension) Bill. It is the latest shot in the UK music industry’s long-running campaign to get the copyright term for sound recordings up from its present 50 years (already 30 years longer than the minimum required under the relevant international treaty, the Rome Convention 1960) to the 95 years given in the USA (against a very different overall background of legal protection for sound recordings, it should be said). It is pure chance that this campaign coincides with the early recordings of such great artists as Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard falling out of copyright, with the Beatles and then the Stones due to follow over the next few years. There have also been heart-rending stories of how recording artists and their families are robbed of the pensions provided by their copyright royalties just when they need them most. Virtually everything else that needs to be said on this unfortunate Bill is said by the IP Kat, but Scots Law News was a little saddened by the comment that Runrig are embarrassingly awful. What, even Loch Lomond?