UK government to extend copyright law?

Beatles and The Who stand to lose royalties if the law isn't amended

British Culture Minister Andy Burnham has said that the government is preparing to extend the copyright law for performers to 70 years.

At present, performers currently lose copyright after 50 years.

Speaking to the UK Music Creators’ Conference in London, Burnham said: “It’s only right that someone who created or contributed to something of real value gets to benefit for the full course of their life.”

The current law has been opposed by the likes of Paul McCartney, The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Cliff Richard, who say it should be brought in line with American laws, which last 95 years.

Burnham added that the law should be changed for moral reasons, reports BBC News.

“There is a moral case for performers benefiting from their work throughout their entire lifetime,” he said. “We must ensure that any extension delivers maximum benefit to performers and musicians. That’s the test of any model as we go forward.”

If the UK law remains, royalties from Cliff Richard‘s earliest songs, such as his 1958 hit ‘Move It’, will expire on January 1.

The Beatles‘ back catalogue copyright is set to start expiring in 2013.