Intellectual Property Office publishes post-implementation review of copyright term extension for sound recordings

In November 2013, the Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013 came into force. The Regulations were introduced to extend the period of copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 years to 70 years, implementing EU Directive (2011/77/EU), which amended the Copyright Term Directive (2006/116/EC).

The primary objective of the legislation was to enhance the welfare of performers (artists) and record labels, ensuring they received appropriate rewards for their effort throughout their lives for their sound recordings and performances. As well as extending the copyright protection term to 70 years the legislation also included a number of additional provisions intended to benefit artists, including a fund for session musicians, a “use-it-or-lose it” provision and a “clean slate” provision.

The IPO post-implementation review explains that, to date, the time extension has provided additional protection to works published between 1963 and 1968. However, the impact of this policy will grow over time and by 2033 there will be a full 20-year period for which recordings will have been protected.

The post-implementation review considered evidence from a range of sources, including creative industry stakeholders and a report conducted for the European Union.

On the whole, the IPO says that the policy has been successful at realising its intended aims and has resulted in an additional £600,000 being paid out to session musicians and approximately an additional £1.7 million in royalties to artists. To read the post implementation review in full, click here.