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Release a song? You can now receive royalties for 70 years

Copyright for musicians in Europe has been extended from 50 to 70 years, meaning artists in their later years won’t lose the benefits of their works.

Image: Musician via Shutterstock

PERFORMERS IN EUROPE now own the rights for their works for 70 years after they were first made available to the public – an increase of 20 years.

This means that as artists age, they have less of a chance of losing royalties due to copyright ending.

The move is thanks to the signing into law of the European Union (Term of Protection of Copyright and Certain Related Rights) (Directive 2011/77/EU) Regulations 2013, the Minister for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock TD, announced today.

The regulations provide an extended term of protection in sound recordings for performers and producers to 70 years after the performance was first made available to the public.

It means that artists who released songs in the 1960s will still be able to receive royalties. After copyright ends, people will be free to use the songs in advertising or other campaigns.

Minister Sherlock said the increase “will make a real difference for performers”.

Many performers start their careers in their early 20s so that, with increasing life-expectancy, a 50-year term of protection term meant that a performer entering their seventies would lose the benefits of their creative works at a time when they may be in most need of the income stream from royalties due.

The regulations came into effect on 1 November 2013, and can be read in full here.

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