EU Parliament extends copyright term for performing musicians   |  

Officials of the European Union (EU) announced on April 23, 2009 that the European Parliament had approved a bill extending from 50 years to 70 years the term of copyright protection for performing musicians.

European legislation provides that the copyright term for composers lasts for 70 years after the composer’s death, while the copyright term for performing musicians is only “50 years after the recording date”.

In response to this situation, which results in cases where the copyright term comes to an end during the lifetime of the performing artist (for example, a 71-year-old musician cannot receive royalties for works he recorded when he was 20), the European Commission proposed to extend the copyright term of performing musicians.

The bill extending the copyright term to “70 years after the recording date” was approved by the Parliament by 377 votes against 178. The original proposal of the Commission recommended an extension to “95 years after the recording date”, but the Parliament finally settled on 70 years.

The bill now has to be approved by each member state of the EU.