European Union extends Beatles’ copyright, still gonna have to buy the White Album originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Sep 2011 20:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
If you’ve been waiting for the hits of the ’60s to lapse into the public domain, prepare to be disappointed. The European Union has agreed to extend the term of protection for sound recordings — which previously lasted for 50 — to 70 years. That means the White Album won’t be free to own until 2038. The extension was granted to guarantee income for performers in their old age who would otherwise lose out, such as impoverished multi-millionaire Sir Paul McCartney. Opinions are divided, with record companies praising the move and open-rights groups being a lot less enthusiastic. An interesting point to note is that the move was done in spite of government-funded research to the contrary. Either way, ever increasing copyright legislation means it’s far more likely we’ll see even more extreme anti-piracy adverts, just like the one after the break.