The amendments to European copyright laws first voted on by the European Union parliament in 2009 and ratified in 2011 have, another two years later, been implemented in the U.K. as of today, November 1st. The new rules append another 20 years to the copyright term of sound recordings, meaning that records will not be eligible to enter the public domain until 70 years after the work's first publication. The rule changes were the result of a concerted lobbying effort from the international and European recording industry, members of which sought to harmonize European copyright law with that of the United States, which has a copyright term of 95 years.
While the changes will have appreciable benefits to older artists -- especially the three additional rules, explained below, which take effect for the last 20 years of copyright term which the EU put into the law specifically for the benefit of artists -- major labels will, of course, see the lion's share of benefit. (Worth noting: The change does not effect the copyright term for compositions.)