Copyright protection extended for music recordings from 50 to 70 years

The Council of Ministers has adopted a directive extending the term of copyright protection for music recordings from 50 to 70 years, starting from the first date of publication or communication to the public.

The new rules include measures ensuring that artists who have transferred their exclusive rights to record companies benefit from the extension, and setting out certain circumstances under which artists may recover their rights after 50 years.

The directive also harmonises the method of calculating the term of protection for co-written works, which now expires 70 years after the death of the last surviving author.

The directive came into force on 31 October and member states have two years to incorporate the new provisions into their national laws.

Furthermore, the Commission has until 1 January 2012 to submit a report assessing the possible need for a similar extension to the term of copyright protection for audiovisual works.

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