Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Release the Music

The Open Right Group have just launched a new campaign aimed at preventing the extension of copyright terms on music recordings.

In the UK there is a 50 years period where a sound recording is protected and after that it becomes part of the public domain - part of our common cultural heritage which anyone may use or exploit.

That's not so bad is it? How many other people get paid so long for a single piece of work? Most of us are paid for the time we spend on something, not every time it's used. 50 years seems like a fairly good deal to me, but for the Cliff Richards of this world it's not enough.

Ah yes.


A cynic could suggest that donating his Barbados villa year after year for the Blair's holiday has paid off. Cliff had his first hit in 1958 so in a couple of years its time is up. Unless the law is changed someone could sample it or mash it into something new or, perish the thought, I could take it and make an animation for it.

As well as stopping work entering the public domain the proposed legal changes could mean that over 40 years worth of music currently in the public domain will be returned to the organisations owning the rights.

The release the music website has more information and a petition you can sign or you can always contact your MP to talk to them directly about it.

In the interests of honesty I'll admit I have my own interests here. I like making musical animations and locking the music away restricts what I can do. I'm lucky as I have friends who makes great music and let me play with it, but I have been trawling some public domain archives recently and making use here and there, and I'd rather this wasn't taken away.

That said, I promise that even if this change is rejected and Cliff's songs start becoming public domain over the next few years I won't animate them.

I do have my standards.

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That's almost a shame. I'd like to see your take on Living Doll's serial-killer creepiness.

"Gonna lock her up in a trunk so no big hunk can steal her"
Hehe, I can almost see the appeal, but would definitely fear for my mental health if I were to listen to that song as much as is needed when I'm animating.
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