Cliff Richard wants to steal your music.

I’ve just finished listening to Cliff Richard arguing for an extension to the term of performance copyrights. Could he be any more selfish?

Copyright is a limited monopoly designed to encourage artists to go out and create original works, and thereby enrich us all. When Cliff Richard made his recordings, he knew that his rights would eventually expire, nevertheless he felt that the potential rewards were worth his time and artistic effort.

Now, years later he’s complaining that he will no longer be able to profit from his past work. But the copyright law was never intended to enrich him, it was intended to encourage him to create new works. He’s free to go out and sing new sings, make new albums and give his fans more of the music they love.

Rather than create something worthwhile and profit honestly from the proceeds, he prefers to lobby for a change in the law that would cheat his fans of their rights, and enable him to continue to make money without actually doing anything to earn it.

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  1. Ann McRory said,

    31 May, 2006 @ 17:57

    Cliff is seeking a change in the coppyright laws to benefit performers who have now retired and had been counting on their previous hits to keep them in their retirement. Cliff himself IS continuing to make new records and entertain his fans – and will be doing so for MANY years to come.

    Thank you!

  2. Ross Presser said,

    1 June, 2006 @ 22:20

    Ann, If that were true, there would be something in his bill specifically stating that only retired copyright holders get the extended copyright period. Your argument is hereby destroyed.

  3. Christine Griffiths said,

    15 September, 2006 @ 21:49

    Eh hang on a minute here…Cliff has been performing without a break for nearly fifty years…why shouldn’t he be entitled to a say in the copyright of his many many hits? His hits have spanned five decades…..and he’s now singing into his sixth decade….. His back catalogue is enviable. He’s worked jolly hard for his money and has continued to support countless charities all his performing life. At 65 going on 66 he’s worked tirelessly and with great enthusiasm so you can hardly accuse him of being workshy. I hope he wins.

    And he still gives the best live perfomance in the business! The thought of someone else getting their hands on some of his early hits must be extremely frustrating for him.

  4. alex said,

    15 September, 2006 @ 22:33

    Christine: How would you like it if a shopkeeper ran after you and asked you to pay a second time? You’d laugh in his face. Why is this any different?

    Cliff Richard has already been paid for his old recordings, and now he wants to get paid a second time. The deal is that he gets to charge for recordings for 50 years. When that time’s up, we ALL get to benefit from them. Now the 50 years is up, he’s trying to get more pay, without doing more work.

    Work that he’s doing NOW, is still protected of course. He’s getting paid for that, and he’s welcome to it. But how is that relevant to the 50 year old stuff that he’s already been paid for?

  5. Jim said,

    1 August, 2007 @ 22:51

    As I have read over the months about Cliff’s thoughts. He is actually argueing for the song writer. When Rock and Roll first started back in the fifties, they thought it was a passing fad. Now 50 years later it’s still with us. Why shouldn’t Alan Tarney and the rest be paid. IF!!!! That is the contract. Was it a one time payment or royalties. Given the fact that it was not a passing fad, change the laws. As for Cliff I also read years ago with Tear Fund he gives more to charity than all the rest. God Bless him….He apparently already has. Hey thanks for listening. Being here in the States I get my info from the internet, soo if any of it is mistaken. Again thanks for listening. Jim

  6. abiye said,

    13 December, 2008 @ 21:36

    stealing of anything is bad. who wanna be a theif ?

  7. Kitty said,

    29 August, 2010 @ 11:03

    I really don’t think any of the people commenting against Cliff’s actions knows anything about copyright laws relating to music. Cliff’s situation is somewhat unique in that he is still singing & performing the music he wrote/sang 50 years ago, whereas most performers have stopped by this time in their career (if their career has lasted this long) It should be the lifetime of the performer, as far as paying for copyright goes. Why should performers suffer? Those that aren’t like Cliff & may be ‘one hit wonders’ may depend upon royalties etc to fund their retirement. Who are we to take that away from them.

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