Posts Tagged ‘ public domain ’

Release the music!


Lilian recently sent me some information about releasethemusic.org, because she knows that I am absurdly interested in issues concerning music, performance and copyright. This website is run by the Open Rights Group (an organisation which I sometimes agree with, but sometimes think are very misguided) and concerns plans to extend the length of time that sound recordings are protected by copyright. In a rare move for me, I ‘signed’ their on-line petition, so it seems that writing a blog entry about the issue is a good idea as well.

Copyright is a complicated thing, which the library and information profession constantly struggles with. It is bound up with many other issues: data protection versus freedom of information; access to information versus the right to control intellectual property; the conflicting rights of information creator, disseminator and user. In general terms, librarians are often seen to be upholders of copyright, yet are foes of censorship and are sometimes oddly anti-establishment (see the fun and games of the FBI vs. ‘radical militant librarians’). And yet, although I do indeed agree that copyright is in general a good thing, and do not agree with most of the arguments against it, I can see that the term of copyright protection is¬†perhaps excessive (generally 70 years after the death of the author) and that this is particularly true in the case of sound recordings.¬†

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