UK Copyright Reform Just More Of The Same

from the nothing-new-to-see-here,-move-on dept

Over in the UK, some proposals for copyright reform have been announced, and there’s not much interesting there. It takes recommendations from the infamous Gowers report, which we noted at the time was too balanced for its own good. For example, it includes an officially declared right for consumers to make personal copies (something that’s worth mentioning following the recent RIAA kerfuffle), but it also puts in place an anti-circumvention clause a la the DMCA. There are, of course, huge problems with anti-circumvention rules that make it suddenly illegal to do something that is otherwise perfectly legal (like making private copies for personal use). By adding in an anti-circumvention clause, the personal copying clause is effectively meaningless, because the industry just needs to add any DRM, no matter how weak, and claim that any personal copies circumvent. The fact that the UK version of the RIAA has thrown its support behind these changes (while warning that it better not include any lessening of rights to copyright holders) should tell you all you need to know about how much actual “reform” there is in this particular attempt at copyright reform.

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Comments on “UK Copyright Reform Just More Of The Same”

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Enrico Suarve says:

Re: once again

Anyone know how many of us Brits have been “locked up” for copying their own CDs or faced fines?

I’m pretty sure that the answer to the first is none and that the answer to the second is virtually none

I’m not saying I agree with this law or even its update but I think it might be stretching it to suggest more of us will do jail time

I’m reasonably sure there would be an outcry the first time they tried to put someone in prison for copying a CD they bought

It sucks and is plainly wrong but its not quite that bad

Enrico Suarve says:

Re: Re: Re: Reading the comment

And reading my point – if they were to actually try to lock someone up for copying their own CD there would be an outcry

Its not going to happen – passing an amendment that virtually no one paid any attention to is one thing, using it to lock someone up for something as stupid as this is another


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes but the point of the article you quoted is that even WITH the reform it will still be illegal to make personal copies by the simple addition of any DRM.

So in other words, there is no reform and most people will quite happily go on about their lives making copies of the music they own as they do today.

SteveD says:

Wheres the innovation?

Lord Triesman has reared his head before; back in the summer he thought it was a great idea to get ISPs to regulate all P2P traffic or face legislation.

The irony of this situation is that the department Lord Triesman works for is ‘Innovation, Universities and Skills’. Now there’s a lot of fuss in the UK right now around ‘up-skilling’ the nation so it remains competitive in a world economy dominated by cheap labour from the east. The message that’s being rammed down student’s throats again and again is the importance of innovation, and for businesses being able to innovate to be able to compete in this brave new world.

Then the Government introduces legislation to protect media companies from ever having to innovate, the same companies who capitalise on the youth culture of the Uni students.

the daily mash (user link) says:


CONSUMERS lasts night promised to continue ignoring the law despite a government pledge not to throw them in jail for copying their own CDs.

But the music industry said it objected to the change, claiming it breaches the fundamental principle that all music remains the property of the music industry for all time, even after people have paid for it and taken it home.

A government spokesman said: “Apparently millions of people are stealing music off themselves and playing it to themselves illegally in their cars and on their MP3s.

“This is a flagrant breach of an unenforceable law which makes us look like an arse, so we have now decided that you can do it.”

Music listener Nikki Hollis, 16, said she had no idea it was against the law for her to make copies of her own property.

She added: “And d’you know what? I don’t f@%#ing care.”

Tom Logan, professor of consumer law at Dundee University, said the CD copying laws were just one of many ancient statutes that were now routinely ignored.

“For instance, while it may be perfectly legal to buy a dog, it is actually against the law to give it a name.

“And although you are within your rights to deposit your bodily waste in a lavatory, the Toilet Laws of 1873 say you must not flush and should instead remove your leavings with a spoon.”

A music industry spokesman said: “Huge amounts of money went into the invention of muscial notes.

“F# alone cost £14 billion. We need to recoup that investment. And get money to buy drugs.”

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