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Council of Ministers votes to extend copyright protection for performers

Written by Ben Evans on 16 September 2011

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Under new EU laws that have been approved by the Council of Ministers music performers will now receive 70 years of copyright protection on recordings.

The Council of Ministers have voted in favour of amending the EU Directive on the term of copyright and other related rights. Previously the Directive afforded music performers copyright protection for 50 years from the end of the year in which the performance took place or 50 years from the end of the year in which the recording was released.

According to a Commission statement: "Most performers start their career in their early 20's or even before. Average life expectancy in the EU today stands at 76.4 years for men and 82.4 years for women,"

It carried on: "This means that a performer who lives well into his 80s would not be able to enjoy the benefits of his creation because the term of protection would have already run out at the most vulnerable period of his life. For composers and lyricists, on the other hand, copyright protection lasts throughout their life and for 70 years after their death. The extension of the term of protection for performers now adopted means that artists in Europe will receive a fairer treatment and be assured of a steady income for their performances during their entire lifetime,".

The changes will bring protection for performers in line with the existing protection afforded to music composers who receive copyright protection on a work throughout their lfe and for 70 years after their death.
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