The Null Device

Copyright expiry in the UK

While Big Copyright is more or less having free rein with using Australia as a laboratory for new forms of feudalism, they're having less luck in the UK, where the government, surprisingly enough, looks set to reject a proposal to extend sound recording copyright to 95 years. Which would put Britain in the unprecedented position of being the only major economy in which post-war commercial cultural products have entered the public domain; this means that Cliff Richard's earliest songs will become public property next year, and EMI will start losing the Beatles' copyrights in 2013; meanwhile, Mick Hucknall's dreams of a socialist utopia are cruelly dashed. Of course, this is not a done deal; it's not unlikely that a stern word from Washington will pull Britain back into line.

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