Good article today about copyright issues in Great Britian. I didn’t know that copyright was good for only 50 years in the UK.
I am surprised that it doesn’t mention the fact that it was only 50 years in the U.S. until some of the earliest movies were in danger of losing their copyright status, particularly some of the earlier Disney cartoons and creations such as Mickey Mouse himself. Lobbying led to it being 98 years. One wonders what will happen at the end of that.
While I should probably be all for being able to buy the Beatles catalog without paying an arm and a leg for it and I really don’t think anyone associated with the Beatles actually needs MORE money, I do feel like things have probably changed since the 50 year rule was initially instated. A musician who does his first copyrighted song at age 20 now is much more likely to live to be 70 now than artists were over 50 years ago when the law was probably written. While the public does deserve access to art, the artist also deserves compensation for his work enough so that he or she doesn’t end up destitute. It is particularly unfair since the songwriters get covered for their entire life PLUS 70 years, as it says in the article.
Its what keeps the lawyers in Benz and Beamers, I guess…