Further replies to E.U. copyright consultation

In an earlier post I mentioned the five contributions to the EU Copyright Consultation that I knew about. In the meantime, the EU Commission staff has not sat still, and has now published a full list of all submitted documents (most in English). 134 stakeholders have sent in their opinions on the matter; 126 of these are authorised for publication.

I have yet to leaf through this stack; one notable private person is Sir Cliff Richard, who has recently been lobbying for a US like extension of so-called “recording rights”. Sir Cliff’s first recordings (Living Doll among them) will become public domain in a few years. Tic-tac, tic-tac. (Unlike what the press usually reports, this does not mean you can publish those songs for free–regular copyrights on lyrics and melody will still be in full force.)

As an aside, I must say I find the US copyfighters, whose vocal and well-spoken members number in the dozens, have been remarkably quiet in this respect. I wonder if some misplaced shyness has prevented them from speaking up. Misplaced, because one of the most devastating changes in US copyright law, the Mickey Mouse-extension of 1998, was passed under the guise of harmonization with international copyright laws. To help prevent a seasaw of harmonizations (proponents of the recording rights extension are explicitely citing the overextended US recording rights–though of course they do not mention the fact that these rights were overextended), US copyfighters could have been a little bit more vocal in the E.U. copyright debate; as authors who have some protection in the E.U., they are stakeholders too.

So far, I only know of two North-American copyfighters who have entered the debate; both of them Canadian, and both drawn to the debate after I had told them about it.

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