European recording artists and performers
Europe has always prided itself on being a champion of culture, yet the EU is lagging behind many other parts of the world when it comes to protecting its recordings. European artists, performers and producers are provided with a 50 year period of protection for their work to enable them to benefit from the recordings they have made. This is a much lower level of protection than many other countries around the world which provide for between 60 and 95 years' protection. At a time when the creative sector based on intellectual property generates an increasing percentage of GDP in the European Union, this lower level of protection compared to other international markets puts Europe at a competitive disadvantage.
Recording artists and producers also receive much less protection than other creative people such as writers, composers and directors whose work is protected for their lifetime plus an additional 70 years. Yet it is usually the particular performance that makes a recording famous - people remember the artist who sang the song rather than the composer. The composer, nevertheless, continues to benefit from the recording long after the performer ceases to receive any royalties.
More treasures of Europe's recorded music heritage are falling out of copyright every year. These are the recordings which have contributed so much to Europe's reputation for creativity and cultural diversity. With today's longer life spans, artists and performers are beginning to see their recordings falling into the public domain in their lifetime. Every year, an increasing number of artists are being deprived of part of their income.
In excess of 38,100 artists from around Europe and beyond have signed the enclosed petition calling on the European institutions and EU governments to improve the length of term of protection for sound recordings in Europe.
View the complete petition here
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