If The UK Wants People To 'Respect' Copyright, Outlawing Ripping CDs Is Probably Not Helping
from the you-earn-respect dept
We had two separate stories late last week about copyright issues in the UK, and it occurred to me that a followup relating one to the other might be in order. The first one, from Thursday, was about the UK’s plan to try, once again, to push a new “education campaign” to teach people that “copyright is good.” We’ve seen these campaigns pop up over and over again for decades now, and they tend to lead to complete ridicule and outright mockery. And yet, if you talk to film studio and record label execs, they continually claim that one of the most important things they need to do is to teach people to “respect” copyright through education campaigns.
My guess is they say this because an education campaign is something they can actually do, so they can make it look like they’re “doing something” no matter how ineffective it will be. And, you can go back centuries and find that no education campaign has ever worked in magically making people respect anti-copying laws.
That brings us to story number two: on Friday, the UK’s High Court confirmed that ripping your legally purchased CDs and DVDs to make a digital copy for personal use is no longer legal (something that the government had only “made” officially legal a few months ago). The court even left open the possibility that anyone who relied on the official change in regulations to rip their own CDs might now face punishment for doing so.
This court ruling came about after an organization run by the record labels, UK Music, challenged the legal change.
Combine these two stories, and you have to wonder what the recording industry is thinking. As Matt Schruers noted on Twitter, this latest court ruling can only serve to destroy any credibility that copyright might have held for people:
If one set out to burn up the credibility of #copyright in a single act, saying there could be liability for CD ripping just might be it.
— Matt Schruers (@MSchruers) July 18, 2015
And yet, the recording industry does all of that, and then they think that a lousy (and misleading) education campaign will make people “respect” copyright? What are they thinking?