If we increase the copyright term, so the incentive is there for you working in the industry to digitise both older and niche repertoire which more people can enjoy at no extra cost.How, exactly, would extending copyright to 70 years be better for the music industry?
That's why, as we move on forward into the new digital age of the 21st century, I am pleased to announce today that it is Conservative Party policy to support the extension of the copyright term for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years.
For a start, we've got to look at why copyright exists in the first place.
The purpose of copyright is to encourage people to contribute artistic/literal/musical works by promising them a financial reward if their work is a success. However, the current copyright model means that, in addition to providing a reward for creation for the entire lifetime of the artist, the artist's family (or in practice, their publisher/record company) can also benefit from the work.
If a person has a successful enough work, they never have to contribute again, which it could be argued actually reduces the incentive to continue creating music or writing books or what have you.
It's utterly misleading of Cameron - or anyone else, for that matter - to suggest that increasing the duration of copyright would assist living musicians or writers more than it already does. And extension of copyright would do nothing but pay record label executives for the next 70 years.
I don't want to abolish copyright, but there's ways to make money by giving your stuff away for free, especially in this age of the internet. A musician can put an album online and distribute it worldwide for next to nothing (compared to CD shipping, at least). An author can publish online and have thousands of people read their work; if it's good enough, then enough people will pay for it to make you a profit.
Exposure is priceless, and copyright tries to limit the number of people who can read/listen to your stuff until they can pay for it. It should really be the other way around.