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MPs call for DRM warning labels

Smoking this CD while pregnant...

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The UK's All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) has published a report on Digital Rights Management that calls for clearer labelling of content so consumers know what they can and cannot do with material they buy.

The report says: "There is a significant mismatch between what consumers believe they ought to be permitted to do with copyrighted material and what the law allows."

Most British people believe they are allowed to make a copy of a CD they have bought - this is not the case.

The group further recommends that Ofcom publish guidance to warn companies using "Technical Protection Measures", like the infamous Sony rootkit, that they run a risk of prosecution. APIG also recommends extending exemptions to anti-circumvention measures for academic researchers.

The group, chaired by MP Derek Wyatt, called on the Department of Trade and Industry to address the issues at a European level.

APIG hopes government will take heed of its recommendations and that they will be considered by the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property (a Gordon Brown initiative that is taking a wider view of the IP issue).

APIG illustrated the longevity of the debate by quoting a speech given in the Commons in 1841 by Thomas Babbington Macaulay: "Thus, then stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good."

More from APIG here. ®

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