Almost two-thirds of the British public are backing the record industry's battle for extended copyright protection for local artists, according to a new report.

Almost two-thirds of the British public are backing the record industry's battle for extended copyright protection for local artists, according to a new report.

According to the findings of the YouGov poll, commissioned by the BPI, 62% of respondents agreed that home-grown artists should be protected for the same amount of time as their opposite numbers in America. The term of copyright for sound recordings in the United Kingdom is currently 50 years, compared with up to 95 years in the United States.

At the same time, only 20% of U.K. respondents did not agree that copyright terms should be comparable with the United States. Some 18% said they were unsure.

The BPI welcomed the findings. "We are hugely encouraged that the majority of British consumers agree with us that U.K. musicians should receive as much copyright protection as their U.S. counterparts," commented Peter Jamieson, chairman of the trade association, in a statement.

"Our unique and internationally-renowned industry would use a term extension to continue to invest heavily in the creative economy for future generations and consolidate the rights and works of our cultural ambassadors."

British acts, notes the BPI, claimed 19 of the 36 IFPI Platinum Europe Awards handed out in 2006, each in recognition of 1 million pan-European shipments.

The YouGov report comes ahead of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, due for publication at the end of November.

The review is an independent re-examination of the U.K.'s intellectual property legislation. It is conducted by Richard Gowers, former editor of the Financial Times.