July 27, 2004 · Lessig
Stefan Bechtold writes that the EU Commission (ok, a staff report) has decided that copyright terms for recordings in Europe should not be increased beyond the current term (50 years after publication), despite the growing pressure of recording labels to increase the term to “save” (as they put it) some of the most important Rock from entering the public domain. The story is getting press in Europe. (Independent, BBC).
This is an extremely important development in this battle. For once, a government-related entity has recognized the truth (or at least, not had its recognition crushed). I’ve already been talking to archives that are working on the idea of releasing all the recordings they can when they pass into the public domain on January 1, as a way of demonstrating the value of a wide range of work becoming available, unencumbered, for widespread use.
Here in the U.S., we’ll be able to celebrate the same in, um, 2019. Till then, for your listening pleasure, an oldie (first posted here last July): a 1937 radio program from the Columbia Workshop about creative works passing from the “copyright lane” into the “public domain“.