Music copyright could extend to 70 years

Paul McCartney campaigned for the copyright extension

The European Parliament have voted to extend sound recording copyright from 50 to 70 years.

In a nutshell, that means artists like The Beatles (and their varying estates) will continue to receive royalties on their earliest recordings - which were due to expire in 2012 - for an extra 20 years.

A proposal for a 95-year extension was 'thrown out' for being too long.

Nothing is set in stone yet, however, because the 70-year plan must first be passed by the EU states in the European Council.

Power to The Man

"The legislation approved today is absolutely not the solution," Caroline Lucas, UK Green MEP

But while the likes of Paul McCartney and The Who's Roger Daltrey have championed the change for some time, critics (including the Green Party) claim that it's the record labels - not recording artists - who will reap the most benefits.

"It is clear that action is needed to better reward performers for their work, but the legislation approved today is absolutely not the solution," said UK Green MEP Caroline Lucas.

"The copyright extension to 70 years will fill the pockets of a limited number of powerful corporations and harm performer rights and artistic creativity."

(Via: BBC)