Post Tagged with: "public domain"

Analog Beatles by Kevin Dooley (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/33PwBN

Is the Great Canadian Copyright Giveaway Really About Some Cheap Beatles Records?

The government’s surprise decision to include copyright term extension for sound recordings and performances in this week’s budget is being painted by the music industry as important for Canadian artists. But sources suggest that the real reason for the change is the result of direct lobbying from foreign record labels such as Universal Music and Sony Music, who were increasingly concerned with the appearance of public domain records from artists such as the Beatles appearing on store shelves in Canada. As discussed in this post, Canadian copyright law protects the song for the life of the author plus 50 years. However, the sound recording lasts for 50 years. That still provides decades of protection for record companies to profit from the records, but that is apparently not long enough for them.

Earlier this year, a Canadian company called Stargrove Entertainment began selling two Beatles records featuring performances that are in the public domain in Canada. The records were far cheaper than those sold through Universal Music and were picked up by retail giant Walmart, who continues to list the records on their website (Can’t Buy Me Love, Love Me Do). There were additional titles featuring the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys. Some of the titles are still available for sale through Walmart.

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April 23, 2015 21 comments News
Buffy-Sainte-Marie-DSC_2407 by sidrguelph (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6NkJNh

Canadian Recording Industry: Works Entering the Public Domain Are Not in the Public Interest

On World Book and Copyright Day, it is worth noting how Graham Henderson, the President of Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) characterized the government’s decision to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings and performances:

With each passing day, Canadian treasures like Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie are lost to the public domain. This is not in the public interest.  It does not benefit the creator or their investors and it will have an adverse impact on the Canadian economy.”

This statement raises several issues. First, it should be noted that the song Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie is not in the public domain nor will it be entering the public domain for decades. As the songwriter, Buffy Sainte-Marie still holds copyright in the song and will do so for her entire lifetime plus an additional 50 years (Howard Knopf further explains the issue of copyright term in songs in this post).

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April 23, 2015 22 comments News

Faulkner, Hesse Lead Public Domain Day 2013

Wallace McLean has posted his annual celebration of public domain day, listing dozens of authors whose work entered into the public domain in Canada on New Year’s Day. Notable names this year include Nobel Prize winners William Faulkner and Herman Hesse as well as  poet e.e. cummings. The list is […]

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January 1, 2013 4 comments News

The TPP Impact on New Zealand’s Public Domain

Gareth Hughes, a New Zealand Green Party MP, has posted on the impact of extending the term of copyright in New Zealand from life plus 50 years to life plus 70 years as demanded by the Trans Pacific Partnership. Hughes calls attention to many leading NZ works that would be […]

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January 24, 2012 1 comment Must Reads

James Joyce and the Public Domain

The New Yorker examines the entry of James Joyce’s works into the public domain in Europe (Joyce entered the public domain in Canada twenty years ago), demonstrating why the issue is about far more than free access to books.

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January 13, 2012 Comments are Disabled Must Reads