I received the following anonymous story but it is too beautiful not to publish... -- Wiebe --
Charlie McGreedy's new love-affair
European Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has found a new lover. His coming-out was last Valentines day. In his public love letter, he promised a shower of gifts to his new flame. The lucky receiver of all his amorous attention: Music Industry. After music fans showed the Industry the door for starting a crusade against them, they were desperate for an new cash-cow to continue their lavish lifestyle.
The Irish miracle doctor--the same guy who turned Ireland into a Caribbean tax-haven, sans the climate, and on the wrong side of the Atlantic, has found another way to play nice with somebody else's money. After turning Ireland into the parasite of the European Community--"Bring your profits here, and pay less taxes"--and breaking his vows to convicted monopoly abuser Microsoft on soft patents, he has now taken up a great concern for those poor fifties vintage anonymous session musicians' old-age pension. A case brought to his attention by the Music Industry, already widely known for their consideration for former employees.
True love makes blind, and when his new love suggested to extend the neighboring rights from 50 to 95 years, Charlie McGroovy, swallowed a mouthful of bullshit (holy ash but for the burning), and said yes, amen and hallelujah to whatever corrupt wish rent-seeking Music Industry could think of.
No matter the European Parliament has shown Music Industry the door already. No matter that those musicians, in their days, have been able to set aside some savings for their old age, just like the rest of us mortal souls. No matter that those musicians are indeed anonymous--such that the booty will probably end up in Music Industry's gold-lined coffers. No matter that even when those musicians are still alive, Music Industry will probably be as effective as its bastard cousin Collecting Society in finding those poor musicians. But probably they will generously offer to take care of the reaped-in millions until Kingdom Come.
We truly don't care for a little extra money for needy pensioners, even if they were musicians. We would happily agree with an increase in state pensions - but not at the insane cost his shower-gift will cost the rest of us.
With one stroke, McGrieve wants to doom all records produced since the onset of the first World War. Often fragile records in already poor conditions. They are of limited commercial value, as advances in technology have given us much better records of most popular works, however, they remain part of our cultural heritage. They will now be blocked from preservation. Forty-five years more to make sure no forty-five will survive. No less a wanton destruction of cultural heritage that same first World War brought to Northern France.
To paraphrase Jack Valenti--I say to you copyright extensions are to our Cultural Heritage and the European public, as Jack the Ripper to a lone woman at night.
Charlie, we all know miracle cures are just a quicker way to the grave, and we all know Music Industry isn't in this affair for the love, it is in it for the collateral damage. Be warned, Charlie, history will judge you, Charlie McCreevy, murderer of European Culture.