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Mick HucknallIn an act of purest doublespeak and outright journalistic hubris, Mick Hucknall manages to equate the creation of personal capital wealth with socialism. In this Guardian article, we are told that extension of copyright will incentivise creativity and that by playing into the political lobbying hands of the major record labels and their corporate representative bodies, we will be engaging in an act of subversive redistribution of wealth.

I suppose that’s one way of looking at it…

Mick Hucknall: Fundamental socialism
Copyright is fundamentally socialist – it is radical and redistributive, subversive even. How else would you describe a form of property that anyone can create out of nothing? Copyright’s democratising effect is seen most clearly in the music business. Anyone who can speak, sing, rap or hum and operate a simple sound recorder can create a copyright song. Imagination is the only limit.

And to back him up, that stalwart of the Left…

EMI chief makes final plea to have copyright extended
The EMI boss, speaking at a private seminar at 11 Downing Street, complained that “the views of those who oppose the concept of copyright protection appear to resonate more with Government than (the views of)those who create the work”

Let’s not make any mistakes: extending copyright is the last thing we should be doing. Copyright is completely and fundamentally broken. It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Not because artists and record labels shouldn’t make money — quite the opposite. Simply because the rules of copyright, as written for another cultural and technological context, do not work in the digital age. The only people that may be advantaged are those who wish to maintain the status quo, lock down culture and make money selling and reselling the same back catalogue over and over again.

And you know what? They ain’t flying the red flag, Mick.

Extension of copyright does not incentivise new works, it merely advantages the few who wish to continue to monetise the work of a composer who has long since moved on to other things. Copyright extension is so that EMI can continue to make money out of the Beatles, and not to encourage Sir Paul to knock out another tune.

It ties up works so that they cannot be used because their authors cannot be found. It is bad for consumers, bad for culture, bad for creators of new works, bad for those who wish to build on the past.

The vast majority of the music business doesn’t want a bar of it, and if ever there was an opportunity to ask the question, “So why are these people taking these positions?” this would be it.

I didn’t think it possible, but Mick Hucknall has gone down in my estimation.