While many in this country are trying to reduce the length of copyright protection, in Britain, they’re talking about extending it, or so says the head of a British music trade group in the Guardian:

At the moment, copyright protection in the UK for recorded music lasts for 50 years. This means that all the artists who took part in the 60s music revolution will soon see their recordings fall out of copyright and their earnings dry up….

“Who made this stupid law in the first place?” Kenney Jones, drummer of the Small Faces and the Who, asked recently in a Sunday newspaper. …

It is not only the musicians who will lose out. So will British music. The BPI announced this month that 17% of revenue from the UK recording industry is invested in new recordings. This is proportionately more in R&D than the aerospace, computer and car industries.

This investment has contributed to a boom in new British music from artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Corinne Bailey Rae, James Blunt and Kaiser Chiefs. Seven of the Top 10 best-selling albums for the first quarter of 2006 were debut albums. Insufficient copyright protection, however, will reduce revenues and limit reinvestment in new talent. …

I wonder how similar fights are playing out in Germany, France, Asia, and the rest of the world.