07 Nov Recorded performers will receive renewed income as a result of extended term of copyright in sound recordings
We reported two years ago on the voting in by the EU Council of Ministers of EU Directive 2011/77/EU, EXTENDING THE TERM OF COPYRIGHT IN SOUND RECORDINGS from 50 years to 70 years. This was hailed as a great victory for the music industry, which had lobbied for the term extension for many years. While the additional revenues generated by the extended 20 year term will mainly benefit the record labels, musicians will benefit too from a share of the income that is allocated to performers’ rights.
On 1 November the Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013, which implement the directive, came into force and set out exactly how performers will receive the new income. The Intellectual Property Office announced in its press release that there will be:
– a ‘session fund’ paying many performers (such as session musicians) 20% of revenues from sales of their recordings
– a ‘clean slate’ provision, whereby a producer may not make deductions from payments to performers (such as advances of royalties) from publication of a recording;
– a ‘use it or lose it’ clause, which allows performers and musicians to claim back their performance rights in sound recordings if they are not being commercially exploited (performers will still need to obtain the permission of the other performers, as well as the owner of the publishing rights, if they wish to exploit the recording themselves).
There will be no retrospective revived right under these regulations, so recording rights which lapsed at the end of their 50 year term before 1 November 2013 will not come back into copyright. For instance, the Beatles’ “Love me do” which came out of copyright earlier this year, will remain in the public domain.
Jo Dipple of UK Music said: “We are pleased that the government is implementing changes that acknowledge the importance of copyright to performers and record companies. This change will mean creators can rightfully continue to make a living from their intellectual property and works.”