Stephen Harper extended music copyright to please US record industry lobbyist

Michael Geist writes, "The Canadian government's decision to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings in the budget may have taken most copyright observers by surprise, but not the music industry."

"The record of lobbyist meetings gives a hint of the reasons behind the extension, but a personal letter sent by Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggests that it all it took was a letter from Music Canada President Graham Henderson to the Prime Minister. The Harper letter was sent on April 21, 2015, the day the budget was tabled. It states:"

Thank you for your recent letter regarding the copyright term for sound recordings. I have reviewed this material carefully, and share your view that the current term of copyright protection for sound recordings falls short of what is required to protect artists and ensure they are fairly compensated for their work.

Please know that, as announced today in Budget 2015, our Government will extend copyright protection for sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. The extension will be incorporated into the Budget Implementation Act, and will be in effect immediately upon passage of the legislation.

Harper Letter to Music Canada on Budget Day Confirms Copyright Extension the Product of Industry Lobbying [Michael Geist]

(Icon: The broken record assembled,
Michael Coté, CC-BY)