'Legalise home taping' - think tank shock

Forward thinking

The centre-left think tank the Institute of Public Policy today published its long-awaited report into intellectual property issues in the UK.

The IPPR recommends that home taping (and transferring CDs to an iPod) should finally be legalized, that sound recording copyright should remain at 50 years, and that the nation's archive, the British Library, should be allowed to circumvent DRM restrictions that everyone else already circumvents anyway.

And, um. That's it really. We haven't received a copy of the report, so we can't bring you any more earth-shattering details.

But we will as soon as we have the full report. ®

Bootnote: It might come as a surprise to US readers but the UK has never had a provision for "fair use", the copyright exemption which permits academics to make copies of protected works. Which means that since the early 1970s, almost the entire adult population of the UK has technically been a criminal. From which you can draw your own conclusions - but this legal anomaly does not appear to have had a material effect on either the production or enjoyment of culture.

And until recently, the death penalty was in force for impersonating a Chelsea Pensioner. Thousands of young Britons died every year as a consquence of this arcane law. [Are you sure? - ed.] (Thanks Nicolas)

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