Europeans Lose Fair Use Rights

from the this-isn't-about-fairness... dept

Since things have been pretty busy here in the US keeping up with all the content companies suing their best customers, I hadn’t necessarily been keeping up on the details of intellectual property laws elsewhere. According to this article, the dreaded The European Union Copyright Directive goes into effect today, making it illegal to make any sort of copy of a “DVD, CD or music file” (which one of these does not fit with the others?). Apparently, even if you make a backup copy only for personal use, you’re facing criminal charges and the possibility of two years in jail. If the article is correct, taking a CD you own, ripping an MP3 and putting it on your iPod is now illegal. Actually, from the sound of this, using your iPod for anything other than songs you own the copyright on may be illegal. Good job, Europe.

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Comments on “Europeans Lose Fair Use Rights”

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Hanzie says:

Not too sure about this...

I may be seriously wrong here, but isn’t the EUCD technically speaking Directive 2001-29? And shouldn’t this directive have been converted by December 22nd 2002? And doesn’t this directive include a host of exceptions that member states are allowed to implement in their own national legislations, including most traditional ‘fair use’ rights? Of course, a member state may choose not to implement any of those, but that’s hardly the directive’s fault.

As a side note, there is another important directive whose deadline did expire on the 31st October, which is directive 2002-58. It’s related (amongst other topics) to the use of cookies and spam, and forces member states to implement an opt-in system towards spam. Sounds like a good plan to me, but it has nothing to do with the EUCD.

So is the article completely misguided, or am I totally missing something here?

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