EU?Regulators are set to give the music industry a boost by extending copyright protection by 20 years. Recordings will now be under copyright for 70 years, making it illegal for anyone to distribute them without permission. The EU council will rubber-stamp the changes on Monday, meaning member states will be required to write them into law within two years.
Recordings that were due to fall out of copyright protection over the next month, meaning anyone can package and resell the material, include Elvis Presley’s Little Sister and Shirley Bassey’s Reach for the Stars. The changes have been hailed as a victory for rights holders, who are desperate to protect their existing revenue streams in the face of intense pressure from illegal file-sharing. Ian De Freitas, an intellectual property partner at City law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, said: “This is the end of a long campaign for change by the music industry. “It is another victory for IP rights holders in what has been a very good year for them coming on the back of court decisions requiring internet service providers to block access to websites distributing infringing content and the failure of the challenge to the Digital Economy Act.”