Britain’s Musicians’ Union is reiterating its call for European Commissioners not to “short change” performers as they mull over Commissioner McCreevy’s proposals to extend the term of performers’ rights in Brussels this week.
Back in February, Charlie McCreevy, the European Union’s internal market commissioner, gave his unequivocal support to industry demands for an extension for the term of copyright on sound recordings. The Irishman propose an extension of the current 50-year term of protection to 95 years, and suggested record companies establish a royalties fund to protect session musicians.
While his words of support were warmly welcomed by the British music industry, the MU notes there is now growing concern that a formal proposal will never be tabled.
“There are a huge number of artists who are 100% in favour of Commissioner McCreevy’s proposals, as they would provide a new and much-needed source of income for retired musicians,” comments John Smith, general Secretary of the U.K. Musicians’ Union in a statement.
“By adopting McCreevy’s proposals,” notes Smith, “”the Commission would at last begin to acknowledge the contribution made by performers to European creativity, and go a considerable way to affording them a long overdue official recognition of their talent.”
Herbie Flowers, who played on tracks including Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” and David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” chipped in: “The term of protection for performers has not kept up with life expectancy and it is high time it was changed. I played on a couple of very successful tracks, and it would be unfair for me to stop receiving income for these performances after 50 years – probably just at the time when I will need it the most.”
As previously reported, a letter was sent last week to European Commission president Barroso on behalf of performers’ trade unions and collective right management organisations urging the Commission to move forward with McCreevy’s proposals.