Saturday, 25 April 2015

Caroline Lucas clarifies Green's copyright proposals & tells creatives 'I'm absolutely on your side'

Greens campaigning in Neasden today were approached by a musician who, although supportive of the Greens was concerned about reports that we wished to 'reduce copyright to 14 years'.

In a recent blog LINK Caroline Lucas has confirmed that this means 14 years after the death of the creator - not 14 years after the copyright is established.

Nevertheless Lucas has called on the Green Party to review its copyright policy.  She writes:
At present many creators are in a stranglehold from our copyright laws, which see big corporation control the rights to work for eg 70 years after the creator dies in the case of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works.  Some years ago I worked with artists like Billy Bragg to challenge the way that music corporations take a huge cut of royalties, leaving only leftovers for the artists. We wanted to try and return copyright to the artists it's supposed to benefit.
She says the 14 year proposal...
...isn't in our general election manifesto because it is just a proposal - not something we want to introduce as a priority in the next 5 years. What is in the manifesto is a commitment to copyright laws that protect creators - fairer, more flexible and shorter. To bring the law up to date to better reflect the demands of the digital age.  To increase government arts funding by £500 million a year, helping to keep local museums, theatres, libraries and art galleries open. And to better support fair pay productions in the arts.
Addressing composers, photographers, musicians and other creatives she  writes:
I'm absolutely on your side. Artists and writers have to be able to make a living and fairly benefit from their work.   I know that many often live in poverty for years before seeing any financial reward for their work and I would never back any proposal that did not take fair account of that fact. A copyright regime that both supports innovation and ensures people are fairly remunerated for their work is possible if we rebalance the power away from the big corporations and back into the hands of artists.

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