Monday, July 21, 2008

Money money money, must be funny, in the rich man's EU!

In a website with the ironic label "fewer barriers, more opportunities", the EU Commission announce commissioner Charlie McCreevy's cunning plan to protect aging rockstars from having to work or save for their retirement. They propose to extend copyright on music recordings by another 45 years. The barriers are for consumers, it seems, and opportunities are for the music industry.

Apparently it is unfair that 70-year-old musicians won't be paid for work they did at age 20. Shockingly, if they want to get paid in their eighties, they currently need to have worked right into their thirties! This is clearly intolerable.

That's why the EU Commission wants the work they did at age 30 to make them money until they are... lets see... 30 plus 50... plus 45... that's until they are 125.

OK. Time for a reality check. Clearly this is not really about welfare for the over-120s!

A clue to the real reason is buried in the EU Commission's rather self-serving FAQ:

Will record producers also benefit from this copyright extension?
Yes. With the copyright term extended, record producers will receive additional revenue from the sale of records in shops and on the Internet.
So there you have it. Lobbying pays. If only the rest of us could get paid in retirement for work we did in our 20s and 30s.

Maybe that's the solution for the pensions crisis?

Read more over at Ars Technica, and (for the EU party line) on the EU Commission website.