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"Use it or Lose it' Right

What you need to know.

Last updated: 07 January 2021

If a sound recording, after the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication, is not being made available in sufficient quantity, both in physical format and online (i.e. to meet the demand from consumers) then, under the legislation, any musician who has transferred their reproduction, distribution and making available rights or their performer’s property rights in the recording to the producer may notify them in writing that they wish to reclaim their performers’ rights in the recording.

The producer then has one year from the date of the notification to rectify the issue by making the recording available to meet consumer demand. If they do not, their copyright in the sound recording will expire.

Once the producer’s copyright has expired, any other party (including the musician) is free to exploit the recording for the remainder of the extended copyright term, provided they have gained permission from all the other musicians on the recording (or their estates) and the owners of the music and lyrics.