Musicians and authors turn on the UK Greens

Musicians and authors turn on the UK Greens


norman lebrecht

April 23, 2015

The Green Party has published a proposal to limit UK copyright to 14 years.

It has drawn an instant rebuttal from the Musicians Union: ‘Musicians need the income from copyright to survive. @TheGreenParty say it should last 14 years. We say, at least a lifetime.’

And Philip Pullman is leading a chorus of authorial outrage.

The proposal would, of course, kill off most UK cultural industries.

You vote Green at our peril.

green bennett



  • Gregor Tassie says:

    Is today media’s day to condemn the Greens? Yesterday it was anti-Nicola and the SNP, who’s next? The Green Party is like a breath of fresh air compared to all the other parties, yes I am an author and I support the copyright proposals they stand for.

    • Tony Osborne says:

      I support Green, but am not in favour of this.

      The two extremes can perhaps be harmonized by the probability that they may now exert more influence on government, of whatever complexion, on important matters relating to environment, ecology, agriculture, etc, but may not be able to exercise power over copyright.

  • Mikey says:

    Copyright should last as long after a creative artist’s death as a spousal pension would last. The money from the art is the artists “salary”, there’s no reason for anyone to be collecting that salary for 100 years after the artist’s death.

    I say this as a composer.

  • Tim Walton says:

    Greens live in Bongo Bongo land.

    they are just plain stupid – A Joke.

  • Anonne says:

    I generally support green parties in philosophical outlook, but Britain’s Greens seem to me to have an inept leader and to be only vaguely conversant with the realities of modern life. They seem to see exploitation at every turn while having no economics, nor even a vague notion of how to budget their own most cherished (and in all too many cases fanciful) policies.

    Still, a vote for them is essentially harmless in the UK — it can be a safe protest vote against old line parties that are pretty clapped out.

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    It seems to me the UK has had inept leaders for some time, when was the last good statesman like leader this country had?????The vote for the Greens is a protest vote that is un less you live in Brighton Pavilion, Bristol west or Norwich north.

  • T-ARAFANBOY says:

    I once organized benefit fund-raising concerts of chamber music with:
    A) a human rights organization,
    B) an environmental counseling organization (I guess that’s green…).
    With A), yes, we fought a lot at the beginning but eventually we understood one another, and they accepted me as the expert on everything to do with the music. In the end it was a very successful event and rewarding experience for all involved (the activists, the musicians and me somewhere in the middle).
    With B) it was one of the most frustrating collaborations of my life, they wanted to take over everything even when not knowing or caring anything about the music part. I told them again and again how to go about the ‘cultural’ part, but no, they knew everything better than me. Outcome: they messed up the publicity (press releases, posters…), the ticket sales, they changed my text in the program notes so that it made no sense…
    In the end the audience was even surprised to find itself at a classical music concert!
    I had never encountered such a hostile attitude towards culture/music in my life.

  • Mike Roberts says:

    Quote from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas: “…as I understand it that’s 14 years after the creator dies, not 14 years from the point at which their work is first copyrighted.” A case of the Greens not making their policy proposals (by the way, not a manifesto pledge) unambiguous?

  • Alistair Hinton says:

    14 yeas tout court or 14 years after death, it would still be wholly unacceptable; Lucas seems to be saying that it’s the latter. There’ll always be a less than level playing field when the term is × years following death, because the composer’s earliest works’ copyright term will obviously be longer than that of his/her last ones – in Elliott Carter’s case, 84 years longer.

    I fail to perceive what’s supposedly “Green” about such an absurd proposal but one thing that disappoints me about it is that it will likely reduce support for the party, which will have the likely consequence of making it just a little less problematic for one party to achieve an overall majority; more support for the Green party and other minority parties will help to increase the risk that not even two parties in coalition could achieve a majority – that’ll teach ’em!

    Anyway, as has already been noted, the policy wll never come into being as no other party supports it and we’re not likely to have a Green government in the foreseeable.