January 20, 2009 | By Danny O'Brien

EU Copyright Extension: Help MEPs Hear the Other Side

From reading the official European Commission documentation on its proposed Copyright Term Extension Directive, one might believe perpetuating performer copyrights from 50 to 95 years in Europe is a charitable policy with no ill effects at all. That's certainly how Commissioner Charlie McCreevy would like it to appear, as he pushes for the Parliament to vote on the Directive in March of this year.

But lawmakers in Brussels are only hearing one side of the story from the Commissioner. That's why the campaign against copyright term extension is holding a public meeting in Brussels next week, for you or your MEP to attend free.

Even Europe's own leading copyright experts say the Commission misleads the Council and Parliament. MEPs have still not heard how it would cost European consumers billions, but pay most eligible musicians less than thirty Euros a year, with most of the profits returning to the major music labels. Nor have they investigated its damage to a robust public domain and democratic access to cultural heritage.

As part of the Sound Copyright campaign, the Open Rights Group is holding a public meeting on January 27th in Brussels for MEPs to learn the honest facts on copyright term extension. Write and ask your MEP to attend -- or better still, come along yourself and give your own views.

If you'd like to know more details yourself about the dangers of copyright term extension, visit the Sound Copyright site, or watch the video guide below. Then send the links onto to your fellow Europeans, and write to your MEP now.

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