Archive for January 10th, 2012

TPP’s Other Copyright Term Extension: Protection of Sound Recordings Would Nearly Double in Duration

Europe has been embroiled in a controversy over the copyright term of sound recordings for the past few years. While the law provided protection for a 50 year term, major record labels argued for an extended term to generate more profits from older recordings. Proposals to extend the term in the UK and Europe were widely panned as independent studies found that benefiting a few record labels would come at an enormous public cost (see here or here). For example, the UK Gowers Review of Intellectual Property concluded:

Economic evidence indicates that the length of protection for copyright works already far exceeds the incentives required to invest in new works. Boldrin and Levine estimate that the optimal length of copyright is at most seven years. Posner and Landes, eminent legal economists in the field, argue that the extra incentives to create as a result of term extension are likely to be very small beyond a term of 25 years. Furthermore, it is not clear that extending term from 50 years to 70 or 95 years would remedy the unequal treatment of performers and producers from composers, who benefit from life plus 70 years protection. This is because it is not clear that extension of term would benefit musicians and performers very much in practice. The CIPIL report that the Review commissioned states that: “most people seem to assume that any extended term would go to record companies rather than performers: either because the record company already owns the copyright or because the performer will, as a standard term of a recording agreement, have purported to assign any extended term that might be created to the copyright holder”.

Despite the evidence, the term of sound recordings was extended in the UK last year. Canada has thus far been spared a lengthy debate over the issue since a similar extension clearly holds little benefit to Canadians with the overwhelming majority of incremental revenues going to U.S. record labels.

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January 10, 2012 3 comments News

Supreme Court of Canada on the Importance of the Public Domain

With the recent attention on the term of copyright in Canada, Meera Nair reminds readers about recent Supreme Court of Canada comments on the importance of the public domain: In 2002, Justice Binne, writing for the majority in Théberge v. Galerie d’Art du Petit Champlain inc., stated: “Excessive control by […]

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January 10, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

PIAC Report Says Bill C-12 Data Breach Rules Should Be Toughened

PIAC has released a new report that examines the mandatory data breach reporting requirements in Bill C-12 and concludes that changes are needed to provide adequate privacy protection.

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January 10, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads