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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Summer holiday

Talking about influence The Sunday Times reports that Tony Blair is taking up the cause of extending the 50 year royalty protection period on sound recordings to the European standard of 70 years:

At the meeting of the national executive committee on July 19 last year Blair said that despite the “dominating global headlines” and recent terror attacks, Labour must not lose sight of the domestic agenda.

In the midst of such high-profile issues as the liberalisation of the Post Office and public apathy to elections, Blair “addressed concerns” about copyright laws “whereby Cliff Richard and the Rolling Stones only receive 50 years’ protection compared with 70 years in the rest of Europe”, according to one member’s detailed written record.

Cliff Richard, who is reputedly worth £40m, has described copyright payments as a “pension” for musicians and said: “Every three months from the beginning of 2008, I will lose a song.”

Having the Prime Minister promoting this cause must give it a very good chance of succeeding. The likes of Cliff Richard and Mick Jagger will be able to enjoy their luxurious lifestyle well into their nineties without any loss of income and may even be able to pass on the royalty payments to their heirs.

It is of course purely a coincidence that the Blairs have been able to make use of Cliff Richard's £3m Barbados villa for the last three years for up to three weeks at a time. Clearly, the six bedrooms, a tennis court and a pool give the Prime Minister plenty of time to relax and think through his domestic agenda. It is good as well that rather than take advantage of the facilities for free, Mr. Blair ensures that an appropriate donation is made to charity each time he goes there.
How much of a donation, exactly?
He will not disclose.
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