News For Music Aficionados

IMG_0166Copyright in a sound recording previously was for a term of 50 years after the end of the calendar year in which the first fixation of the sound recording occurs.    A new Canadian law extends that term by providing that, if the sound recording is published before the copyright expires, the copyright continues until the earlier of the end of 70 years after the end of the calendar year in which the first publication of the sound recording occurs and the end of 100 years after the end of the calendar year in which that first fixation occurs.  If copyright has already expired, the new law will not have the effect of reviving the expired copyright.  All of your favourite sound recording from 1966 that would have become “public domain” at the end of 2016, will now remain protected by copyright by an additional 20 years until 2036.  The Sony Bono Copyright Extension Act enacted in the United States in 1998 had similar provisions extending copyright for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever endpoint is earlier.  It is interesting to note that the sound recording of “Four Strong Winds” by Ian and Sylvia Tyson which hit the billboard charts in 1963 has now entered the public domain, as it had expired prior to the new law coming into effect.   However, it is just that particular sound recording that is public domain, as Ian Tyson still holds the rights to the music and lyrics as the author for his life plus 50 years.