8 out of 10 ten surveys aren't worth the paper they are written on
There's been widespread reporting about the recent BPI survey into attitudes on copyright protection in recorded music for songwriters and performers (e.g. BBC and Observer). Amongst other things, the survey appears to suggests that:
62 per cent of those polled believe British artists should receive the same copyright protection as their US counterparts
Just under 70 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds hold that view, the highest of any age group surveyed.
I've had a quick look round and can't find any evidence of how the survey questions were phrased or what context they were put into, which to my mind means that it is pretty much impossible to draw anything more substantial from the survey than a few juicy headlines.
I did stumble across the BPI's Five reasons to support British music: one of the UK's most valuable industries during my search, which it seems to me presents a rather uncompelling case.
On the other side of the debate, the British Library IP Manifesto sensibly urges caution:
The copyright term for sound recordings should not be extended without empirical evidence of the benefits and due consideration of the needs of society as a whole.
I found it interesting to note that the BPI list being a "unique cultural asset" as the first reason for copyright extension, concluding that
... recordings are the cultural heirlooms of Britain. They should remain in possession of their original owners.
whereas the BL argues that longer copyright makes it difficult or impossible to preserve recordings for the future.