Copyright Debate Rumbles On

While politicians and music industry reps continue to jaw about copyright laws that are nearly 300 years old, there seems little doubt that all involved are going to have their say.

The PPL, which licenses sound recordings and music videos for use in broadcast, public performance and new media, was to host a reception at The Stanhope Hotel in Brussels April 1.

Former U.K. culture secretary Chris Smith, who is now the chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority, is to chair an April 23 conference to discuss whether the three-centuries-old laws are still relevant in a technological age.

The PPL has 38,000 names on a petition drawn up to lobby the European Union to address the length of the copyright term.

PPL chairman and chief exec Fran Nevrkla said the organisation’s meeting in Brussels will be an opportunity for the European politicians to hear firsthand from the musicians they should be helping.

The whole process was thrown into confusion a month ago, when the U.K. Intellectual Property Office presented the government’s case to explore 70 years as the minimum term.

The directive issued last year by Internal Market commissioner Charlie McCreevy called for 95 years.