John Kennedy, president/CEO of international industry trade body IFPI, reiterated the urgency for equalizing Europe’s term of copyright protection with the United States during a European Parliament meeting last night (Oct. 24) in Strasbourg.
He was speaking as part of a delegation of recording-industry heavyweights, who were appealing to Parliament president Josep Borrell for support.
At present, the “term of protection” for the copyright of sound recordings expires after 50 years in the European Union. The IFPI is leading a campaign to raise this limit, pointing to the United States and other key countries with longer terms.
In the United States, term of protection is now 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever expires first.
In several other countries, Kennedy pointed out, the term is 60 to 80 years. He also illustrated the discrimination against owners of sound-recording copyright when compared with other creative people who have considerably longer protection. They include composers, and film producers.
He added that, sometimes, graphic artists who illustrate CD covers have their works protected for a longer period of time than the artists.
Other members of the delegation — led by hit-making Spanish crooner David Bisbal — included Ricardo Campoy, president of Bisbal’s label Vale Music; and Antonio Guisasola, director of Spanish music industry federation Promusicae.
Bisbal, who also performed a special concert in front of 150 European Members of Parliament and staff, spoke about importance of term extension from an artist’s perspective.
He noted how young artists like himself depended on record companies being able to reinvest revenues in developing new talent and new music. A longer term of protection would promote this cycle of investment, he said.