On This Day In Music History: Aging Rock Stars Receive Extension On Royalties

On this day in music history in 2008, aging rock stars and session musicians keep receiving royalties for the rest of their lives.

Veteran artists like Cliff Richard and Roger Daltrey, were among many rock stars and musicians that campaigned for the European Union scheme for copyright on recordings to be extended. The extension was agreed upon to last for 95 years.

Now, many of you may be saying, “It’s Europe, who cares?” Well, had the council of the Union not granted this extension, many of the most popular recordings of the British Invasion of the 1960s would basically have all of their rights to their songs taken from them.


For example,  albums by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, would all have fallen into the public domain in the coming years. Not to mention, multiple versions of the recordings would become available at cheaper prices. Then, leaving major record labels deprived of one of their biggest sources of income. It’s basically a trickled down effect.

But, not all musicians were as ecstatic about this decision.

“This is extremely good news for record companies and collection agencies, but bad news for artists. It means they have 20 more years in servitude to contracts that are no longer appropriate to a digital age.” – Sandie Shaw co-leader of the Featured Artists Coalition

Regardless, it’s huge for both musicians and labels. Both the artist(s) and the labels have control of who and what has access to their music. It some cases yes it gives the label more control, but that’s why it’s key to sign with a label you can trust as an artist. This is very important for any aspiring artist/band to look into. Especially, if you’re independent and are looking to sign with a label soon.


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