Entertainment

U.K. won't extend copyright on rockers' old hits

The British government has turned down a request by artists such as Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams to extend copyright on musical performances to more than 50 years.

The British government has turned down a request by artists such as Cliff Richard, Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams to extend copyright on musical performancesto more than 50 years.

On Tuesday, the U.K. rejected a plea to extend copyright for music to 70 years, saying the change would also require revamping laws for the rest of Europe.

Artists such as Richard and McCartney are facing the expiry of copyright on their early hits, such as Richard's 1958 song Move It and McCartney's early Beatles hit Please Please Me.

At the same time there is unprecedented demand for their back catalogue through digital downloads.

Some veteran musicians may be facing a situation in which they won't get compensation for use of their enduring hits.

"The U.K. is a world-beating source of great music, so it is frustrating that on the issue of copyright term the government has shown scant respect for British artists and the U.K. recording industry," John Kennedy, head of a group representing the international recording industry, said after the decision.

The parliamentary committee for culture, media and sport said in May it would support an extension, and the idea had also won approval from opposition parties.

U.K. novelists, playwrights and composers have copyright on their ownwriting forlife and 70 years after their deaths.

In the U.S., performers have copyright for 95 years after the release of a recording and in Australia 70 years.

In Canada, songwriters have copyright on their work for 50 years after their deaths, but Canadianbands and singers haveprotection for 50 years after release of a recording, the same as British performers.

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