Beatles music saved from public domain!

Well, thank God the money will keep flowing in to Paul McCartney. The Times reports that the EU will extend copyright another 45 years in what many people call the "Beatles extension.

Well, thank God the money will keep flowing in to Paul McCartney. The Times reports that the EU will extend copyright another 45 years in what many people call the "Beatles extension." That's because the first Beatles recordings would have exited copyright in 2012.

Actually the first rocker to lose copyright would have been Cliff Richards, whose first hit goes public domain this year.

Now I don't begrudge McCartney (and Yoko) continued royalties on that music. Lennon-McCartney were pure geniuses and those songs are gems of pop songwriting. But for how long must we watch copyright terms go on and on. The storyline is that copyright terms haven't kept up with lifespans, so an extension to 95 years ought to cover everyone for awhile. But of course in another 45 years we'll have bionic songwriters and people will live to 200.

When will policymakers consider proposals like Lessig's:

For 14 years, a copyright owner would need to do nothing to receive the full protection of copyright law. But after 14 years, to receive full protection, the owner would have to take the minimal step of registering the work with an approved, privately managed and competitive registry, and of paying the copyright office $1.

Or make it 50 years. Whatever. But we can't just keep extending full-bore protection by default, can we?