The European Council of ministers agreed to extend the copyright on protection for musicians to 70 years from the date of performance, compared to the previously established 50. This means that somewhere in the world, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who, among others, may be pouring themselves a drink.
Due to the increased life expectancy of the average person, artists who create music at a young age received insufficient protection over their works to cover their lifetime. This new law will protect artist rights through the majority of their lives and possibly onto the family members who inherit the rights. The Wall Street Journal notes that the law "brings Europe's artists and producers closer into line with the protection offered to authors and composers, whose rights are enforceable for the duration of their life plus 70 years."
While veteran rockers such as Mick Jagger welcome the "obviously advantageous" amendment, others express hesitation. BBC News quotes Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, who predicts the law will only "put money into the pockets of big labels."