Sanity, not anarchy in the U.K.

The U.K. continues to show the way on intellectual property law, rejecting an extension to its 50-year copyright term.

The Sex Pistols once sang about "Anarchy in the U.K.," but that's not how we should view this news that the British government has rejected an extension to its 50-year copyright term. This is the same government that rejects software patents.

Looks like the land of Mary Poppins is ahead of us Yankees in how it views intellectual property.

Not everyone, of course, agrees:

"The U.K. is a world-beating source of great music, so it is frustrating that on the issue of copyright term the government has shown scant respect for British artists and the U.K. recording industry," John Kennedy, head of the IFPI body which represents the international recording industry, said in a statement.

"Some of the greatest works of British music will soon be taken away from the artists who performed them and the companies that invested in them."

Actually, what it means is that the next generation of Paul McCartneys will finally be able to stand on the shoulders of such giants. It's not about theft. It's about progress. Where would Paul McCartney be without musicians that came before him? The Paul McCartneys of tomorrow are the beneficiaries of the Paul McCartneys of today.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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