Preserving a copy of the future
by WENDY GROSSMAN
Guardian Unlimited, publication date: 19 October 2006
"Meanwhile, the recording industry is lobbying to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings from 50 years to 95, as it is in the US - a move opposed by the British Library Sound Archive.
'Under UK copyright law," says Ben White, copyright and compliance manager at the British Library, "we are unable to copy for preservation purposes film or sound material that sits in our permanent collection.'
Richard Mollet, director of public affairs for the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the industry's trade association, thinks issues of term extension and preservation copying should be kept separate.
'Many record companies maintain, at considerable expense, custom-built archives to collect and preserve and make available material over which they hold rights,' he says. 'The British Library isn't the only archivist in town. The idea that if it weren't for the British Library no archiving would be going on is false.' An exemption would solve the British Library's problem. The BPI does, however, want term extension."