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EU ministers likely expanding music copyright protections

Artists in Europe may gain protection periods similar to those in the U.S.

Ministers from the European Union are expected to vote next week in Brussels to extend performing artists’ copyright protection in Europe.

The change would extend musicians’ copyright protection in Europe from 50 years to 70 years, which is similar to the protection periods afforded to artists in the U.S.

The change would further improve decreasing global music sales, which dropped 9 percent last year due to illegal Internet downloads.

Similarly in the U.S, artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel are attempting to gain full ownership of their hits from the ’70s as a result of a provision in U.S. copyright law that gives artists “termination rights,” which allow musicians and artists to reclaim the rights to their work after 35 years.

Music analysts, however, do not share the same excitement over the new protections. Some say artists’ time would be better spent combating technological advances that will increasingly disrupt the music industry.  

Read more about changes to musicians’ rights in the LA Times and New York Times.

Danielle Feinstein

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