(BRUSSELS-AFP) – As Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan prove they can rock the crowds well into their golden years, the European Union is offering veteran musicians a cash windfall by extending copyright from 50 to 70 years.
The measure seeks to ensure aging performers, who more often than not get their first break young, can survive once they’ve hung up their guitars in a last goodbye to the stage.
While the move may be of little interest to millionaire performers Jagger, 68, or Dylan, 70, it could be a boon to lesser-known artists, facing a loss of copyright after 50 years.
“With increasing life expectancy, the previous 50-year protection term was clearly insufficient,” said Michel Barnier, the 27-nation EU’s internal market commissioner.
“Despite the fact that their music and songs are still popular, today many performers are left without income when they are older,” he said.
“The increase to a 70-year term means performers can still receive remuneration when their music is played once they have retired.”
The legislation was adopted by the EU on Monday despite opposition from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
EU states will have two years to incorporate the new rules into their national legislations.