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Copyright extended

Written by Ellis Sweetenham on 13 February 2015

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The general rule regarding literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works was that the copyright lasted the life of the author plus 50 years. However some major cases in the Court of Justice of the European Union, one involving Phil Collins, led to Directive 93/98. The amendment stated that the copyright life was extended to the author’s life plus 70 years for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. The directive also changed the position in regards to films, which has now extended copyright to 70 years after the death of the owner. Copyright in sound recordings were increased from 50 years to 70 years in November 2013 after extensive lobbying for the record industry resulting in Directive 2011/77. This Directive is sometimes named ‘Cliff’s law’ as before the change came into force, some of Clif's earlier works were close to becoming freely available.

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