Some of the UK's biggest musicians are calling on the government to support the extension of copyright in sound recordings.

Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Cliff Richard, Robbie Williams and Katie Melua are just a few of the 40,000 performers and 3,500 record companies who have taken out a full page advert in the Financial Times demanding "fair play for musicians".

The advert follows the release yesterday of a government-commissioned review that rejected extending copyright on sound recordings and performers' rights beyond the existing 50 years.

Artists believe that the rights should exist for 95 years.

Andrew Gowers, who carried out the review, said that reforms should "serve better the interests of consumers and industry alike".

Sir Cliff Richard has been an ardent supporter of the campaign; some of his earliest hits are close to the cut-off point for copyright protection.

Paul McGuinness, manager of U2 told the FT that the British Phonographic Industry would now lobby the European Commission on the issue.

"I'd hoped we were moving to something more harmonious and that seems like a perfect task for the EU," he said.

07/12/2006 15:16:50