EU proposes longer copyright for performers


BRUSSELS -- Performing artists should be entitled to keep copyright on recordings for 95 years instead of the current 50 years, the European Union's internal market chief said on Thursday.

"I have not seen or heard a convincing reason why a composer of music should benefit from a term of copyright that extends to the composer's life and 70 years beyond, while the performer should enjoy 50 years, often not even covering his lifetime," EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said. "I am proposing that performing artists should no longer be the poor cousins of the music business," he told a news conference.

McCreevy said many performers who began their careers in their early 20s would get to their 70s and the copyright for their recordings would run out at a vulnerable time in their lives.

"This should not impact on consumer prices," McCreevy said, adding that most of the additional money collected would stay in Europe.

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, which represents recording companies such as Warner, EMI and Sony BMG, welcomed McCreevy's move.

"We applaud Commissioner McCreevy for the vision he has shown in keeping creativity right at the center of the European economy," IFPI chief executive John Kennedy said.