Seventy MPs have now signed an Early Day Motion calling for retrospective extension to the term of copyright. Despite much evidence to the contrary and a study which concludes that “The European Commission should retain the length of protection on sound recordings and performers’ rights at 50 years.” and the ruckus raised the last time the term of copyright was at issue (remember the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act in the US and the related US Supreme Court case Eldred v Ashcroft?), it looks like copyright term extension is going again.
Longer terms of copyright around the world are used as excuses for American copyright extensions—harmonization is the word used for this scam. It’s a scam in two respects: it’s never “harmonized” to exactly the same length and copyright term is always “harmonized” upwardly. So Americans have even more reason to help keep their friends and family from a worse copyright regime.
The Open Rights Group has more details including the 70 MPs that signed on to support copyright term extension and a pointer to a great talk and panel discussion on the topic (local copies of the Jonathan Zittrain talk and the debate that followed). I particularly enjoyed the analysis in the discussion period. I’ll see about converting the video to Ogg Vorbis+Theora.