Sandie Takes On EU

18 March 2009

Dear "MEP"

I am writing to urge you to support British recording artists and musicians by voting for the Copyright Term Directive when the 2 crucial votes come up in European Parliament in February and March. We need all the support we can get. With all the many things you are dealing with it would be understandable if you were not fully cognizant of the relevant facts, so here they are outlined below.

Recording artists and musicians get a much shorter copyright term than other creators – composers, authors, lyricists, graphic artists and photographers. This is patently unfair.

Without the performers who create and spend most of their lives promoting their records there would be no music industry.

Royalties and PPL airplay from recordings are important (however large or small).

There is no effect on consumers (eg iTunes charge the same price for in- and out-of-copyright recordings).

When recordings go out of copyright, others are free to exploit and profit from them but the performers get nothing.

Bearing all this in mind it would be fantastic if you would support the draft Copyright Term Directive which increases the copyright term for both performers and producers to 95 years from release (the same as the USA and on a par with other creators who get life plus seventy years).

Finally, just to prove my point, ask yourself, who wrote Tom Jone's recording of "It's Not Unusual", or Cliff Richard's "Congratulations", Petula Clarke's "Downtown" or even my own "Puppet On A String"? Which record company released them? Who was the publisher? I bet you dont know or care. It is the recording artists that bring these songs alive and keep them alive in the public's hearts and minds. As things now stand, in a few years time these recordings will be out of copyright and others through no effort or input of their own will be able to exploit and profit from them in any way they want without regard or payment to the artist.

Please let me know if you will be supporting this Directive by voting in its favour. I would be so grateful if you would. It is absolutely crucial to us.

Kind regards

Sandie Shaw