Release The Music Debate

Date
Nov 13, 2006

Time
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Location
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
London, WC1
United Kingdom

Should the term of copyright protection on sound recordings stay at 50 years or be extended?

This question has been hanging in the air for the last couple of years, with the music industry lobbying government for an extension on the grounds that the royalties they earn from old recordings are essential to bringing new acts to the stage and supporting ageing musicians. They believe that copyright term on sound recordings should be the same length as the copyright in the composition, which currently stands at life plus 70 years.

On the other hand, copyright reformers argue that term should remain the same in order to protect the public domain and to free the huge number of old recordings which are no longer commercially viable and therefore not being released by the record labels. They also argue that there is a greater economic benefit to allowing works to pass into the public domain after 50 years so that new works can be made from them and new businesses that specialise in niche markets can flourish.

This question of term extension, along with many others, is now being considered by Andrew Gowers in his Review of Intellectual Property which was commissioned by the Treasury and is due to report before the end of the year.

The Open Rights Group believes that term extension is such an important issue that it deserves focused and rigourous discussion, so we’ve invited people from number of backgrounds to give us their thoughts and opinions.

We would be delighted if you could join us - the event is free to all, but places are limited so book now!

Schedule:

6.00pm - Registration.
6.30pm - Keynote by Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University.
7.30pm - Panel Discussion, moderated by John Howkins, The Adelphi Charter; guests include Caroline Wilson, University of Southampton, Faculty of Law; Richard Mollet, Director of Public Affairs, BPI; Martin Talbot, Editor, Music Week.
8.30pm - DJ set by The Chaps, playing a pre-1955 public domain set.
10.00pm - Close.

If you sign up, but find you are not able to come, please do let us know so we can release your seat to someone else.