The UK IPO appears to have given a rather chilly reception to the European Commission’s proposal to extend performers’ rights to 95 years. A press release quotes the Minister for IP, Baroness Delyth Morgan, as saying:
Because copyright represents a monopoly we need to be very clear that the circumstances justify an extension. We will therefore need to consider these proposals carefully to understand how they would work and what the benefits are likely to be…
She continues by encouraging members of public to contact the IPO with comments on the proposal by the end of August (contact details are in the press release).
The press release goes on to note that the Gowers Review found that an extension of copyright would not be beneficial to either consumers or the industry.
The IPKat agrees. 50 years of protection is hardly derisory. When we alter IP rights, we alter the competitive balance. The balancing exercise is a complex one and knee jerk or populist proposals don’t give the opportunity for this balance to be made adequately. However, the Commission seem to be rather taken with the idea of extending the term.
While the IPKat is on the subject of EU copyright, he neglected to mention last week that the Commission has adopted a decision which prohibits European collecting societies from limiting membership to authors in their particular