Rock on! EU May Extend Song Copyrights

Ditties from Beatles, Who, Stones at play
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2008 8:31 AM CST
Rock on! EU May Extend Song Copyrights
British rock band "The Who" lead singer Roger Daltrey, left, accompanied by guitarist and vocalist Pete Townshend perform during a live concert at the Atlantic Pavilion in Lisbon, Portugal Wednesday, May 16 2007. The band, who once sang about hoping to die before they get old, support copyright law...   (Associated Press)

Early hits from the Beatles and the Stones are only a few years away from falling out of copyright and into the public domain, but the European Commission wants to change that and keep royalties flowing to rock stars in their golden years, reports the Times of London. Plans to extend the European performers' royalty period from 50 to 95 years would be a financial boon for elderly rockers—and their record companies.

Many of the rock stars seeing their early works hit the half-century mark are British, but the UK government opposes any change to copyright  law. Its EU partners, however, disagree and may override the British position. To head off criticism that the move would benefit only a few artists, the commission plans to use some of the extra cash from longer-lived copyrights to start a fund that would help back-up musicians. (More copyright stories.)

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