UK Consumer Watchdog Says Copyright Law Is Outdated

from the indeed dept

This is more or less stating the obvious to most folks around here, but UK consumer rights advocates, Consumer Focus, has put out a report pointing out that copyright law is obsolete and confusing to most consumers, leading many of them to infringe on copyrights frequently without even realizing it. This, the group notes, is a problem that should lead the government to fix copyright law by adapting it to the times. Of course, the UK seems to be going in the opposite direction these days with the Digital Economy Bill.... Still, it's nice to see more consumer groups realizing how outdated copyright law is these days.
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Filed Under: consumers, copyright law, uk


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2010 @ 3:45am

    Even if consumers and their representatives know what needs to be done, what do you think are the odds that the government will actually listen? (that's not a rhetorical question -- do you think copyright reform could happen within our lifetimes?).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Planespotter (profile), 1 Mar 2010 @ 3:49am

    Not without a complete shift in politics. As long as governments allow themselves to be lobbied on behalf of big business the views and interests of Joe Public aren't going to matter one iota.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Overcast (profile), 1 Mar 2010 @ 8:07am

      Re:

      Not without a complete shift in politics. As long as governments allow themselves to be lobbied on behalf of big business the views and interests of Joe Public aren't going to matter one iota.

      Yep, copyright is about: 90% control and 10% everything else.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    :), 1 Mar 2010 @ 4:15am

    Reform or die.

    I do get the appeal of copyright and why people do it, we are all jealous of what we perceive us our accomplishments and it brings out a bad part of the human condition.

    I can't talk for everyone but one thing that happens with me is that, all this talk about having a problem and having to have more strict laws have turned me down. I just can't enjoy music or videos without thinking how the other side is so "evil" and I just stopped buying anything. I can't I don't view those people as human caring people.

    Even when P2P drops, they are still losing costumers in droves which makes me think I'm not alone.
    http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3id9638d8420146d3c01bf6bdb523c3311

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 1 Mar 2010 @ 5:02am

      Re: Reform or die.

      I just can't enjoy music or videos without thinking how the other side is so "evil" and I just stopped buying anything. I can't I don't view those people as human caring people.

      Yes - and every time a famous musician/author/artist (latest-Terry Pratchett) pops up in the media supporting copyright extension/enforcement they just get crossed off my list of possible purchases. Seeing as so many ordinary people seem to think the same way one wonders what foolishness possesses them to do it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    www.eZee.se (profile), 1 Mar 2010 @ 4:57am

    And in other news UK Consumer Watchdog Says
    the sky is blue
    (except when its gray)
    also grass is green
    (except when its not)
    and the RIAA are a bunch of low life scummy two faced own parent pimping bestiality and incest loving bastards
    (ok, that last part was said by me not the consumer watchdogs.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    light anti tank intellectual property, 1 Mar 2010 @ 6:16am

    copyright is nt ownership

    fuck copyright

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Simon, 1 Mar 2010 @ 9:26am

    But a legal expert has said that there was no danger of individual consumers being prosecuted for copying music and films for their own use.

    So everyone knows the law is stupid, unenforcible and ignored, so that's OK.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    isabel (profile), 1 Mar 2010 @ 10:08am

    I work in a library

    and I still don't really know what exactly is legal and what isn't, particularly with regards to digital information. I've been on several courses and the upshot of those courses is that there isn't any 'simple' way of telling people what they can and can't do and you have to just hope for the best. Surely simplicity should be the measure of a law which is supposed to be followed by everyone?
    One of the most annoying things is, that often you are not allowed to store information which isn't available anywhere to be purchased anyway - so it is just data that is lost to the world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2010 @ 7:47pm

      Re: I work in a library

      "and I still don't really know what exactly is legal and what isn't, particularly with regards to digital information."

      That's because the law requires citizens to be psychic. Or one can call an authorized/qualified psychic like Miss Cleo and if the psychic is wrong you can then sue the psychic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Michael (profile), 2 Mar 2010 @ 12:38am

    I want... Shorter Copyrights, TM the same, Patents rare

    It would be nice if this was about the various IP types in general, however to preface about copyright:

    I think /MOST/ things should be covered by copyright, as long as they are not public works or work paid for by the public.

    Patents should be an extreme rarity and independent invention should disprove that it was worthy of patent (or that the terms were so outrageous cleanroom development of the same idea made sense).

    Trade marks should probably be about as they are now in the US; a branding/logo enforcement for consumer protection. A possible exception would be a two-class system, one for 'Well known' brands and another for 'local' brands (You'd want to register in to the well known, but it'd cost more).


    Back to copyrights: Even LIFETIME is insane, lifetime + 70 years is some kind of broken handout. Copyrights are about encouraging the production of /useful/ information. In todays far faster paced world if you haven't made your money in 10 years you're probably doing it wrong. Past that decade it should become part of public domain culture so that the future can be built instead of the past enshrined in tombs no one may enter within their lifetimes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael (profile), 2 Mar 2010 @ 12:45am

      Re: I want... Shorter Copyrights, TM the same, Patents rare

      A useful example to provide clarification:

      Harry Potter is a successful book series, but what would allow the author to be recognized and paid when the movies are made? The copyrights would likely have been sat on and then the movies made; what would have worked however would be the /trade mark/ on 'Harry Potter'. A similar movie could still have been made, but it wouldn't have been able to use the same name, nor receive the fan support as part of the same author's works. It would have been better for the studio and author to reach an amicable agreement that is mutually beneficial than to skirt around the trade mark.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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