UN prepares to airlift logic textbooks to UK Green Party officials. Above a A Norwegian UN peacekeeping soldier reacts to statements by UK Green Party officials. Photo by Русский: Фото: Михаил Евстафьев English: Photo: Mikhail Evstafiev (Mikhail Evstafiev).
This is a direct quote from Caroline Lucas the sole Green Party member of UK parliament. I’m sure she’s a nice person. But this makes no sense and the Green Party needs to be called out on this.
“At present many creators are in a stranglehold from our copyright laws, which see big corporation control the rights to work for eg 70 years after the creator dies in the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. Some years ago I worked with artists like Billy Bragg to challenge the way that music corporations take a huge cut of royalties, leaving only leftovers for the artists. We wanted to try and return copyright to the artists it’s supposed to benefit.”
Dear MP Lucas/Green Party:
You know the only reason record labels are required to pay artists and songwriters in the first place? Copyright. We have an exclusive right in the reproduction and distribution of our work. Without that right those record labels, big technology companies, radio broadcasters, streaming services, television networks, movie studios and YouTube/Google wouldn’t pay us anything. Nothing. Zero. Zilch.
Shortening copyright to 14 years just means these companies stop paying us after 14 years. They would continue to use our music. This would be a windfall for these companies. Also please, can we drop the fiction that you really meant “life plus 14 years?” Your party’s own statements and documents clearly show you meant 14 years period. That’s why you haven’t changed the website. I don’t understand why the press is giving you a free pass on this backpedalling.
Further if you expand the “fair use” defense “outside of academia”, i.e. corporations, you further undermine our ability to get paid. Just ask any professional photographer how Google Image’s”fair use” has worked out for them.
If you want to do something sensible with copyright to help artists you should strengthen it for individual authors. Here are two simple sensible ideas:
1) Let artists “opt out” of streaming services if they like…those who chose to stay in can stay in. At the very least we’d be spared the endless back and forth between pro-streaming and anti-streaming artists.
2) Have copyrights revert to the original authors after a period of time. (In the US most songwriters get songs back after 35 years.)