UK Business Secretary: Blocking Sites Under DEA Is 'Unworkable'; Time To Add More Exceptions To Copyright
from the about-time dept
Well, well. When the Hargreaves Report came out in the UK, we wondered if it would follow the same path as the similar Gowers Report, in which the government thanked everyone involved, but failed to follow through. That might not be happening in this case. UK Business Secretary Vince Cable is apparently moving forward in trying to back many of the recommendations in the Hargreaves Report. As we noted, the report is quite tame. It doesn’t go nearly as far as many of us would have liked, but it is surprising in that it supports greater exceptions under copyright law.
In fact, part of Cable’s statement is that blocking websites under the Digital Economy Act is “unworkable.” Such sense from politicians? That’s a surprise. He’s also going to move to finally make it official that folks in the UK can rip their own CDs without breaking the law.
Of course, as I predicted when the Hargreaves Report first came out… the usual suspects are freaking out about all of this.
Lavinia Carey, director-general of the British Video Association, said such a change would be ?extremely damaging?.
?It?s for the rights owner to decide how to offer the [digital] copy,? she said. ?People will find it much harder to forecast revenues to investors who are looking at funding new projects.?
This strikes me as disingenuous. Saying that it’s “up to the rightsholder” is an interpretation of the law that assumes the rightsholder has full control. Yet, the law does not say that. And furthermore, the entire point of this discussion is to figure out who it’s really up to, so just declaring that it’s entirely up to the rightsholder, when that’s the point of the discussion, seems misleading. And the clear argument here is that the law should be clear that consumers have rights to make their own personal copies of media they have legally obtained. Claiming that this will hurt investment in the industry is pure nonsense. It’s FUD from an industry that still refuses to adapt to what the technology allows.