Report: U.K. Copyright Law Should Allow CD, DVD Copying

A report published Sunday and assembled by the United Kingdom’s Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), a government-sponsored think tank, states that U.K. copyright law is outdated and should be modified to give users of iPods and other MP3 players “a private right to copy” content they purchased on CD or DVD, according to an Oct. 29 ippr press release.

It is currently illegal in the United Kingdom for people to “rip” content from a CD or DVD to their personal computers or other devices, though more than half of all British consumers have done so at some point, according to the National Consumer Council.

“ippr recommends a legal ‘private right to copy’ that would allow people to make copies of CDs, or DVDs for personal use,” the release reads. The group says such modification to existing copyright regulation would not negatively affect copyright holders.

The report—named “Public Innovation: Intellectual property in a digital age”—calls for the changes to the 300-year-old laws to be made during an upcoming intellectual property regulations review, organized by Chancellor Gordon Brown and to be chaired by Andrew Gowers, according to the release.

"Millions of Britons copy CDs onto their home computers breaking copyright laws every day. British copyright law is out of date with consumer practices and technological progress,” said Ian Kerns, ippr deputy director, in the release. “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."

"When it comes to protecting the interests of copyright holders, the emphasis the music industry has put on tackling illegal distribution and not prosecuting for personal copying, is right,” he said. “But it is not the music industry’s job to decide what rights consumers have. That is the job of Government."

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