Sound Copyright

Our campaign to protect the public domain and ensure reasonable copyright now has a new home, which you can visit by clicking through to Sound Copyright. Also, we have another collection of resources on the issue of copyright term extension at this link.

We are no longer taking good care of this website. If you have any questions about this campaign or other Open Rights Group works, please mail us using info at soundcopyright dot eu.

James Boyle on term extension

James Boyle examines Nike shares term extension in his Financial Times article, Breaking the Deal:

I hired an artist to paint a portrait. I offered $500. He agreed. We had a deal. He painted the painting. I Buy Nike shares liked it. I gave him the money. A few years later he returned. “You owe me another $450” he said.

We looked at the contract. “But you agreed to paint invest in Nike stock it for $500 and I paid you that amount.” He admitted this was true, but pointed out that painters in other countries sometimes received higher amounts, as did sculptors in our own country. In fact, he told me, all British painters planned to demand another $450 for each picture they had already painted as well as for future pictures. This would “harmonise” our prices with other countries, put painting on the same footing as sculpture, and enable painters to hire more apprentices.

Release the Music - audio recording now available

Thanks to everyone who made it along on Monday night. For those who could not attend, and also for reference purposes, you can now download the audio recording - in either MP3 or Ogg Vorbis format - from the link below. Its split into 2 sections, 1 covers the lecture from Jonathan Zittrain, and the other covers the panel discussion.

We hope to make an audio-visual record available within a week or so.

Release The Music: Off to a flying start!

Well, I think that the Release The Music event last night went superbly, getting our campaign off to a flying start. Jonathan Zittrain’s keynote was great, giving a clear and concise overview of what copyright is and how we got to where we are with the current copyright term of 50 years on sound recordings. It was good to see Jonathan neatly illustrate the difference between property rights and copyright. The debate was just as impassioned as I had hoped it would be, with some eloquent questions from the floor and a lively response from the speakers.

I’m very much looking forward to getting the audio/video up online so that those who could not attend will be able to find out what happened. In the meantime, there’s a blog post from Fernando Barrio with his take on the evening, and an article from PC Pro from our journalist briefing yesterday. I’d like to thank:

  • All our speakers - Professor Jonathan Zittrain, John Howkins, Dave Rowntree, Caroline Wilson, Richard Mollet and Martin Talbot - for taking time out to participate in our event.
  • John Buckman of Magnatune for providing a venue for our journalists’ briefing yesterday.
  • Derek Wyatt MP and his office for helping us organise the MPs briefing on Thursday.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust for funding the Release The Music campaign with a grant of £5,000.
  • And Michael Holloway, Becky Hogge, Lubna Azhaar, Mike Little, Lemon and all the ORG volunteers for helping with both the event and the site.

What next? Last night’s event was the culmination of over a month’s work, but it’s really just the beginning of our campaign. We have a number of things that you can do to support our efforts, including sign our petition (according to Martin Talbot, Music Week got 2000 names and AIM got 4000 names in favour of extension which they presented to the Gowers Review, so we have a way to go to match those), blog about our campaign and the issues involved, or write to your MP.

Whatever you do, don’t do nothing. The music industry has a lot of resources, but we have you, and your voice is important.

Final speaker confirmed

We have finally confirmed our line-up for the Release The Music event on Monday 13 November at the Conway Hall, Holborn:

6.00pm - Registration
6.30 - 7.30pm - Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Oxford University
7.30 - 8.30pm - Should the term of copright protection on sound recordings be extended?
Moderator: John Howkins, Adelphi Charter
For: Richard Mollet, Director of Public Affairs, BPI; Martin Talbot, Editor, Music Week
Against: Dave Rowntree, Blur; Caroline Wilson, Southampton Law School
8.30 - 10.00pm - A pre-1955 DJ set
10.00pm - Close

There are still tickets left, so sign up now if you would like to come.

Welcome to Release The Music!

Should the term of copyright protection on sound recordings be extended? The music industry think so, but we don’t.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be adding more and more information here to help you make up your own mind. Meantime, please do get involved!