SUNDAY TIMES -- During the week when creative use of Woodie Guthrie's "This Land" comes under attack, the Suinday Times explains why it's important to protect Irish musicians. Accompanied by a three-column picture of Andrea Corr, Declan Ferry overstates the case for paying Irish musicians more money long into their tax-free retirement. He rewarms a familiar Irish Recording Music Association (IRMA) argument--that Irish musicians should get more years of copyright for their work. Do that and you guarantee a repeat of the restrictions against parodies like JibJab's use of Andy Guthrie's "This Land." Plus, the entire Irish trad music legacy could get dispersed behind a cost wall. You have to remember that Irish musicians and Irish writers enjoy tax-free earnings. They continue to get tax-free earnings from royalties of play and from sales of their albums long after they stop touring.
Declan Ferry writes
Declan Ferry -- "EU music copyright fight" in The Sunday Times, August 1, 2004, p2.
When Andrea Corr starts picking up her pension she will probably be hoping to augment it with royalties from the enduring popularity of the Corrs' back catalogue. Under current EU copyright legislation, she can forget about it.
The work of a recording artist is currently protected for 50 years after the material is released, allowing royalties to be collected on sales and other airings. After this the work goes into the public domain and people can use it for free.
The Irish Recording Music Association (IRMA), a lobby group for the Irish recording industry, is now demanding European law fall into line with American legislation, which extends royalty payments to 70 years.
Dick Doyle, the director general if IRMA, said Irish aritsts wanted "a level playing field."
IRMA has been advised by the government to make a submission to the European Commission, which is discusing the issue. IRMA is hoping the Commission will agree to an extension of the copyright period by the middle of next year. The Irish recording industry was worth about €115m last year, down from €120m in 2002.
JD Lasica -- "EFF files suit on behalf of JinJab" (sic)
Cory Doctorow -- "Irish RIAA wants more copyright for tax-free artists"