Friday, July 10, 2015

Bachman's absurd argument for copyright extension

Randy Bachman: Canadian Music ‘Could Stop Being Made' Without Copyright Extension - Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post Canada::

June 24, 2015 - "Canada may stop creating great musical acts like Arcade Fire or Joni Mitchell if the country doesn’t extend copyright terms, rocker Randy Bachman says....

"As part of its latest budget, the Harper government extended copyright terms for sound recordings to 70 years, from the previous 50 years. Bachman, echoing the calls of certain artists’ groups, is calling for that extension to apply to songwriters and composers as well.

"The copyright extension in the budget 'helps only those who performed on the recordings,' Bachman writes. “The creators’ copyright protection is frozen at the life of the author plus 50 years. This would leave Canada lagging behind most other G20 countries, including the United States, the U.K., and almost all of the European Union'....

"He concludes by saying society 'should pay the creators what they have rightfully earned, so that a middle-class career (at least) can be the reward for solid songwriting skills, and so that they can keep creating — in Canada. Otherwise, Canadian music could stop being made.'

"University of Ottawa e-commerce law professor Michael Geist says Bachman’s column 'contains some of the most absurd claims about copyright in recent memory'....

"Geist wrote that Bachman’s claim Canadian artists would stop making music 'is simply not credible' because, with or without the copyright extension, they are protected for life.

"'The reality is that songwriters and composers typically get far more than 70 years since their work is protected for their entire lives plus an additional 50 years,' he wrote.

"'In Bachman’s case, "Takin’ Care of Business" was written in 1973. That means it has already been protected for 42 years. It is entitled to another 50 years after Bachman dies, meaning that it is guaranteed to get at least 92 years of protection'....

"He adds: 'Does Bachman seriously believe that there are any Canadian songwriters, composers, or authors who would decide not to write because they receive copyright protection for their entire lives and their heirs get 50 years of protection rather than 70 years?'"

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1 comment:

  1. Maybe Bachman has a point. I can't think of one Canadian songwriter who wrote a decent song in the 6th decade following his or her death.