Rhea Myers

Think Of The Creators!

“Intellectual Property” is of course about rewarding the creative geniuses behind cultural works, not about paying the middle-men and hangers-on. This why the record industry in the UK are so upset that songs from 50 years ago, including the beginning of Elvis’s “catalogue” will enter the public domain this year. The record companies will no longer get their royalties. But, far more importantly, performers will no longer get their royalties. Think of the children!

These songs will be able to be copied freely. People will share them. Some may even see a revival of interest and get played publicly, even used in the media.

Which may be good news for the people who really were the creative geniuses behind the songs. You see, the copyright on the lyrics and the score of the song won’t expire until 70 years after the author’s death. And whilst it’s maddeningly difficult to get an answer from any of the UK’s many IP-exploitation organisations that isn’t just singing from the content industry hymn sheet, it looks like that copyright may be unaffected by the expiration of the separate recording copyright, meaning the composer/lyricist should still get their royalties.

It’s just the session musicians and studio executives who won’t. And they are trying to stop the creative geniuses reaping the rewards of increased distribution and performance of their work.

Never mind piracy. This is wrongful imprisonment.

I could well be wrong. If anyone really knows how this works (rather than the self-serving tale of woe that the record companies are pushing) do please let me know. In either case it wouldn’t prevent non-public copying and listening.

But wouldn’t it be funny if the record companies, in trying to keep old work buried, are doing exactly what they claim to be fighting against: preventing the creators of work form being rewarded for their efforts.