Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.
alan29 wrote: ↑Fri Feb 15, 2019 3:06 pmI thought composers could bequeath copyright to their estate.Southern Comfort wrote: ↑Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:28 amNo, I don't think so. If that were the case, lots of composers' later descendants would still be living off royalties. As it is, when the composer has been dead 70 years the work becomes public domain.
The whole area is of course a minefield. Publishers used to renew copyright, but composers cannot (because they are dead!).And because the law has changed, strange things have happened. I remember when Gabriel Fauré's music came out of copyright in 1974, 50 years after his death as the limit was back then, only to go back into copyright again a few years later when the time limit was extended to 70 years! And the limits are different in different countries, so some music which is in the public domain in the UK may still be in copyright in the US or Canada, for example.
I see that I was not clear enough. My apologies!Nick Baty wrote: ↑Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:45 pmAccording to https://www.gov.uk/copyright/license-an ... -copyright, copyright can be transferred by inheritance.
Yes, someone can acquire interest in a copyright through inheritance. A composers' spouse would inherit the copyrights on the composer's death, and probably those copyrights would then pass to the children and even the grandchildren, unless specific exclusions in a will prevented this. But once the 70 years are up, the copyright ceases under current law.
What I was thinking of was a composer bequeathing a copyright to an individual who in turn bequeathed it so someone else, and so on ad infinitum. That couldn't happen, because the time limit for the duration of the copyright is determined by the death of the original author/composer, not by the death of the person inheriting the copyright. If that were not the case, Bach's descendants could still claim copyright on the great master's works.
Hope that clarifies things.
- Nick Baty
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Since Peter has transferred this sub-topic to another the end of another thread, viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1332&start=30, perhaps we should continue this discssion there?
But briefly here, a copyright is intellectual property controlled by an individual or a company, but revenues accruing on that copyright can be paid to anyone the author/composer/company/executor/assignee may designate.
Some authors and composers have their royalties paid to one or more charitable trusts. At one time, the St Thomas More Group of composers were receiving 12.5% royalties from OCP: 10% went to the author/composer, 2.5% went to the St Thomas More Centre to further its work. Upon the appointment of a director drastically out of sympathy with the original aims of the Centre, the composers shifted that 2.5% to Decani Music, the "natural successor" to the publishing and distribution arm of the Centre's work, until the arrangement ceased as the Group fragmented.