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Renewed hope? April 3, 2009

Posted by Dominic in Uncategorized.

The sun was shining in Brussels. Despite the disappointments of the previous few days, musicians gathered to meet politicians, determined to remind them of the true purpose of the Term of Protection Directive. Just five days earlier, a meeting of EU Member States had blocked the proposal to give performers and producers a fair copyright term. Since then, though, there had been unconfirmed reports of compromise agreements in the various political meetings.

The first musician on stage at the Fair Play 95 Reception  was Pat Halling who played violin in sessions with, among many others, Petula Clark, the Beatles, Hot Chocolate and Lulu (when she was debuting aged 14). Before embarking on a medley of Downtown and All You Need Is Love, he invited Flamenco guitarist Manuel Espinosa on to the stage for a short improvised duo. Musicians speaking impromptu through their instruments.

The assembled MEPs and representatives of the Member States then heard from conductor Luis Cobos (who has 50 Platinums to his name) and Manfred Mann guitarist Tom McGuinness. It was Tom who pointed out that many of his tracks would go out of copyright soon. Other people would continue to exploit them but they, the musicians and producers who made the recordings, would get nothing. I followed Tom with a reminder of just how strongly musicians feel about this discrimination in copyright term. When, a few years ago, we asked performers if they wanted to sign a petition, we were expecting perhaps a few hundred responses. Instead, within days, we were inundated with thousands of signed petitions.

Now we just wait, and hope that the politicians will vote through the legislation, for the sake of the musicians they say they want to support.

Fairplay 95 Reception

Fairplay 95 Reception

Musicians meet politicians in Brussels:
(Left to right back row: Dominic McGonigal, Manuel Espinosa, Tom McGuinness, Pat Halling. 
Front row: Manuel Medina Ortega MEP, Jacques Toubon MEP, Luis Cobos, Alicia Gil, Michael Cashman MEP).

Click the links below for more photos from the Reception:

  • Image 1 (L to R: Tom McGuinness, Michael Cashman MEP, Manuel Medina Ortega MEP, Luis Cobos)
  • Image 2 (L to R: Manuel Espinosa, Alicia Gil)
  • Image 3 (Manuel Espinosa)
  • Image 4 (Pat Halling)
  • Image 5 (L to R: Pavel Zeman, Stefan Krawczyk, Malcolm Harbour MEP)


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