Feeds

Decriminalise iPod users, think-tank tells UK gov't

300-year-old copyright law needs changing

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Ripping your own CDs to transfer the songs they contain for transfer to an iPod, PMP or CD-R to keep in the car should be made legal in the UK, think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has told the government. Currently, this activity is illegal under UK law.

The IPPR this weekend said it wants UK copyright law brought up to date, a move that must, it said, included a "private right to copy" to allow owners of legitimate copies of content to listen to or watch that material in whatever form they wish.

Such a so-called 'fair use' exists in US copyright law. Here, fair use is largely limited to quoting passages from a text or soundtrack for academic or review purposes. But copying a DVD to prevent your kids scratching to bits the original is a no-no, for example.

"Millions of Britons copy CDs onto their home computers, breaking copyright laws everyday," said IPPR deputy director Ian Kearns. "British copyright law is out of date with consumer practices and technological progress. Giving people a legal ‘private right to copy’ would allow them to copy their own CDs and DVDs onto their home computers, laptops or phones without breaking the law.

The IPPR also said the government should reject content industry calls to raise the length of time the law protects works from 50 years.

"It is not the music industry’s job to decide what rights consumers have," Kearns said. "That is the job of government."

As the organisation pointed out, while the copyright on the recordings that make up the Beatles first album are due to expire in 2013, the copyright on the songs themselves will last for the length of the band members' lives plus 70 years. In short, while the labels may lose out, the artists themselves won't - they'll get a cut as long as someone releases their work.

"If you walk into a bookshop you can buy a copy of Dickens' Bleak House, or Austen's Pride and Prejudice for about £1.50," said IPPR research fellow Kay Withers. "The copyright in these works has long expired so different publishers can compete to offer them at lower prices. Consumers have benefited from the works being out of protection."

Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown instituted the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property in 2005 to examine the UK’s intellectual property framework. Review chairman Andrew Gowers is due to present his findings before the Pre-Budget Report in November. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.