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Songwriters and composers are already guaranteed royalties on their recordings for life plus 70 years. To reflect this, EU Directive 2011/77//EU has extended the length of copyright term for sound recordings and performers’ rights in sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years as well as providing other, permanent, benefits to performers, namely a session fund for non-featured performers; a `use-it-or-lose-it` mechanism; and a `clean slate` provision. There is also a change to the expiry date of copyright in the words and music of a work where one is written specifically for the other (such as a song from a musical). The extended term applies to all sound recordings that are protected by copyright on 1 November 2013.
Who’s A Believer and who’s Lost that Lovin’ Feeling?
There was a controversial response to the directive before its adoption: some member states opposed its introduction and there has been a mixed reaction to in within the UK.
The drive for change from lobbyists within the UK, seemed largely to be about continuing to monetise the creativity and musical successes of the 1960s. The legislation, on a European and national level, was supposed to recognise the difficult situation that professional musicians and other artists find themselves in when royalty payments die out in their lifetime. Many performers from the 1960s did not write their own songs and therefore would lose out when relying on only receiving royalties for the shorter 50 year term.
Now qualifying performers will continue to receive royalties for the extended term. However, small time performers will not be the big winners as their recordings are probably not currently achieving significant sales. Most sales are achieved, and this does not just apply to most X Factor contestants, in the first couple of years of the recording’s release, so the amounts we are talking abou
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