----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Brooks" <[log in to unmask]>
> The British government is being heavily lobbied by the recording companies
> extend the copyright term for recordings there from the present 50 years
> as much as 95, and make it retroactive. That would pretty much shut down
> UK's historic reissue industry. There have been a number of pro and con
> letters in the British papers. Cliff Richard (the UK's Sonny Bono?) has
> the rounds on behalf of the record companies urging extension, so he can
keep > getting royalties from his 1950s hits.
You needn't look that far away! Here in Canada, the government
(sadly, a neo-conservative one) is in the process of rewriting the
copyright laws...with considerable influence provided by CRIA
(the northern lapdog of RRIA!). In the USA, should someone
rediscover Thomas Edison's original foil of "Mary Had a
Little Lamb," they could not legally make it available until
2067...almost 191 years after it was recorded!
The harsh reality is best described by Aesop's tale of
"The Dog in the Manger!" The multinationals who
control what is literally all (or nearly all) of the worlds
"recorded history" seem to relish being in a position
to say, "You CAN'T reissue it, because we own it...
and we WON'T reissue it, because we can't sell
thousands and thouands of copies!
In fact, I am awaiting a visit from minions of the
contemporary recording industry so they can
confiscate my half-vast shellac archive on the
grounds that I was not the original purchaser
of said phonorecords and therefore have no
right to enjoy their sonic content...
Steven C. Barr