Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Copyright/wrong 3

Just in case you were waiting to find out what the MEPs did in relation to this letter, I received this response from Fiona Hall MEP:
Thank you for your recent email regarding the Commission’s proposed extension of copyright on sound recordings. This came to vote today in Parliament.

This was a seriously flawed proposal, and my Lib Dem colleague Sharon Bowles MEP tabled an amendment in Parliament to reject it in its entirety. I am pleased that this has gained support among the wider European public. Unfortunately it was defeated in the vote and a limited version of the extension has now passed.

In advance of the vote Sharon tabled an additional amendment in the case that the ALDE/Green amendment to reject did not pass. This would have seen the term of protection reduced to 70 years, and applicable only to recordings produced before 1975. A version of this has now been adopted into the text: the term of protection agreed by Parliament has been reduced from 95 to 70 years; however Sharon’s proviso of only applying to recordings produced before 1975 did not make it, and the new 70-year term will apply to all sound recordings.

I should mention that the process is not over, and there are still ways for us to defeat the proposed extension. I am still hopeful that we can secure a rejection from the Council of Ministers; if that is the case then it will come back to Parliament for a second reading. This would likely be after the European elections and it may be that the newly elected Parliament may be more favourable toward rejecting the extension.

The Liberal Democrats tried to fight the good fight but to no avail. The other MEPs I contacted failed to respond. My Conservative MEP wrote me here

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