When the young ones get older – will extending copyright in sound recordings work?
The extension of copyright in sound recordings and performers' rights from 50 years to 70 years is due to take effect on 1 November. Known as 'Cliff's Law' – having gained the support of Sir Cliff Richard as well as a number of other high-profile musicians and record producers of the 1960s – it will apply to sound recordings that were first released on or after 1 January 1963. Although this change may be good news for some artists and the record industry, a number of questions remain about how it will work. While the underlying principles of the new regime are settled, having been introduced by a European Directive in October 2011, it is still not entirely clear how some of its key provisions will be enacted into UK law. Earlier this year, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published draft regulations, which gave an indication of how the changes will be put into effect, and held a public consultation on the proposals. Interested parties had until 4 March this year to respond. This article is based on that draft.
Cliff’s Law – the ruling on extending the period in which veteran musicians can claim royalties on their records – comes into effect this autumn. But will it work? Sarah Byrt and Dan Gallagher report
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