Thousands of recording artists are joining forces in a newspaper advert to call for an extension to sound recording copyrights.

The current UK law means that artists have only 50 years' copyright on their work, but some 4,500 musicians and recorders have signed a petition to extend this to 95 years.

Famous faces among those who have signed include U2, former BEATLE Sir Paul McCartney and SIR Cliff Richard.

However, experts claim the petition is a last-ditch attempt to extend the period in the UK in a battle the artists look set to lose, as financial advisers claim UK copyright laws currently protect artists adequately and any change would put up costs while giving little public benefit.

The announcement comes at a time of recent high profile copyright and artistic representation cases, including Olivia Newton-John's legal action over royalties from the GREASE soundtrack album.

NEWTON-JOHN claims she is owed $1 million (£507,000) by Universal after suggesting she wasn't properly compensated for the use of her image on the album sleeve. However, Universal has dismissed the claim as "without merit".

07/12/2006 11:46:13