The trust, though, said that it could not allow the BBC to replicate its giveaway of Beethoven’s works, because the regulator was “mindful that the market for classical recordings is in a precarious state”. It barred the BBC from releasing classical music without copyright protection, even though two thirds of listeners consulted said that the BBC should be allowed to do so.
Clearly, the BBC should not be spending licence-payers' money creating new content that would anyway be provided by private companies. But preventing the release of existing archived content is wastefully requiring licence payers to pay twice to get privately financed performances of such works. Unlike much of the archives, this classical content is not tied up by restrictive rights agreements; it is BBC recordings of the BBC's own orchestras performing works long out of copyright.
This decision is a sad demonstration that the barely-out-of-nappies Trust is paying more attention to the interests of the recording industry than the viewers and listeners it is supposed to represent.