Legal Update - Duration of Copyright

Intellectual Property – Media and Entertainment – Copyright Term – Directive 2011/77/EU – Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013 – Sound Recordings – Performers’ Rights


The EU Directive 2011/77/EU recently came into effect in the UK via the Copyright and Duration of Rights in Performances Regulations 2013. As a result of this, the term of protection for sound recordings and performers’ rights in most cases has been extended from 50 to 70 years.


Other measures that were introduced also include:


  • “Use it or lost it” clause – if a producer has not commercially exploited a sound recording within 50 years after its release, the performer can serve notice on the producer that the performer wises to reclaim his or her performers’ rights in the recording. The performers’ rights will revert to the performer after one year, if the producer has failed to exploit the recording.
  • “Session fund” clause – After the period of 50 years, the performer will receive an equal share of a sum equivalent to 20% of revenues from the physical and online sales of his or her recordings.
  • “Clean slate” clause – In cases where a performer has assigned his or her rights to a producer in return for royalties, after 50 years following publication of the recording, the producer cannot deduct advance payments from royalties payable to the performer.


Further details about the term of copyright protection can be found on the UK IPO’s website.


For any queries on copyright or IP law issues, you may contact us by email Visit, .


© RT COOPERS, 2013. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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