It is indeed tragic that an allegedly centrist government should  
ignore the recent advice of its own expert commission and cringe so  
pitifully before the music industry lobby at the EC.

It is also disappointing that supposedly sophisticated law-makers  
should accept the cynical sentimentalization of ageing musicians as a  
weapon of debate, particularly when the basic argument is so patently  

The EC's own 2006 report on copyright, commissioned from a  
distinguished panel of Dutch lawyers and academics, shows that the  
only predictable winners from an extended EC recording copyright  
period would be the corporate heirs to the labels, and that such  
corporate heirs are almost never the musicians who make the records.

The fact that the extension effectively bars community access to 20th  
century recorded music is, of course, largely ignored.

See my March 2008 piece in the IHT <