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The UK is currently using copyright laws that are more than 300-years-old

Ministers in the United Kingdom are being urged to modify copyright laws to allow users to be able to legally rip CDs and DVDs for personal use. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) wants users to have a “private right to copy” digital content. The IPPR acknowledged that the music and film industries are justified in battling illegal file sharing. But the IPPR argues that making copies for personal use does not have significant impact on copyright holders.

Millions of Britons are violating current copyright laws by ripping CDs onto their MP3 players and/or PCs. Currently, Britons are violating an outdated 300-year-old law when copying CDs and DVDs. The British Phonographic Institute has already stated that it will not pursue its rights to bring private copying cases against users if the copying truly is for private purposes only.

An independent research study reports that around 59 percent of Britons believe copying CDs and DVDs to other devices is legal. The chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee inquiry admits that he and his children are in violation of the law. “My own view is that the current laws are unsatisfactory as it is difficult to say to consumers that this bit of the law matters and this bit doesn't matter,” Conservative MP John Whittingdale was quoted as saying.

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It's a good but small step toward copyright sanity.
By bersl2 on 10/29/2006 6:42:12 PM , Rating: 4
Until a person stands a reasonable chance of seeing his cultural icons (because copyright aside, a culture does belong to its people, does it not?) enter the public domain within his lifetime, copyright does not fulfill its mandate.

But that is my problem with the Berne Convention, which is not UK copyright law.

By Christopher1 on 10/29/2006 6:48:06 PM , Rating: 1
I have to agree. It's about time that copyrights were ONLY allowed for about 10 years, and then after that ANYONE can release the movies or TV shows in question.

That is the period in which most shows make the most money for the companies, excepting extremely popular ones like Charmed.

By Jedi2155 on 10/29/2006 9:06:55 PM , Rating: 3
Well, then there are franchises like Star Wars and some others which are still worth a lot of money despite being almost 30 years old.

By Drexial on 10/29/2006 10:51:16 PM , Rating: 2
i almost agree with that. what i feel seems more fit is that once the artist dies it becomes fair game. because i sure wouldn't want to see my works abused by just anyone while still alive. how ever, in cases like nirvana, elvis, john lennon, and jimmy hendrix for examples, they are dead and obviously cant own their work anymore. in which case i see it fit to be released to public domain.

By Drexial on 10/29/2006 10:54:26 PM , Rating: 3
i would like to add that i dont see a problem with non commercial usage. if someone uses music by an artist in the background or clips from a movie to make a skit or such, i don't see a problem, the person isn't profiting off the material. but if a company or TV channel that has profits to keep in mind uses it, they better have full permission from the artist.

By othercents on 10/30/2006 9:54:49 AM , Rating: 2
Actually most artists don't even own the rights to their own songs. The recording company does. In some cases the recording company has sold those rights to other people. For instance Michael Jackson owns the rights to The Beatles.

There is also a fine line between making the works of music available for personal use or public use. For example if you where to buy a DVD from the store you are not allowed to show it in a large auditorium for 10+ people to view since that wouldn't be personal use.

Also when you make it public domain that will allow other people to make money using your product. So the law needs to be more clear than just public domain. It also has to be able to differentiate between popular and unpopular works.

There is one band I know if that would hate public domain and thats Metallica. Most of their music was created over 10 years ago and they are one of the bands that believe they are loosing money because of MP3 downloads.


By akugami on 10/30/2006 4:01:08 PM , Rating: 2
I think it's the publishing rights that companies like Sony, Polygram, Phillips, etc own and not the actual copyrights to the song. It basically amounts to ownership since the artist can't publish his materials on his own and must get it published through the music publishers. For instance, if an artist has a decent selling record and wants to create a limited run of the same record with bonus materials like pictures, cards, background on some of the songs, etc, he'd have to ask the publishers to do this and they can refuse to publish it.

By CSMR on 10/29/2006 8:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
A culture forms a people. (Or a lack of one for that matter.) So one could say a people belongs to a culture. (If there is one.) What would it mean to have things the other way round?

By rushfan2006 on 10/30/2006 8:54:51 AM , Rating: 3
After reading a few posts here....the only thing that shots into my mind right away is its all so easy to dismiss copyright by saying limit it to 10 years or seeing nothing wrong with certain useage so long as not for profit and all that....BUT like in any situation its easy to give advice about/to someone else when it doesn't impact us directly.

If you were on the artist side of the coin - pending that you did lots of very hard work to self-produce say your own album, movie, authored a book, or whatever the case may be. Now to make it more interesting let's say your self produced work is incredibly popular (since its much easier to say you don't care what people do with it - if its a flop and there is no demand for it).

Would you be cool with anyone using your work - even not for profit, without your permission? Would you be cool with copyright being voided after 10 years and its public domain?

THAT'S the perspective we should look at this topic from, not just the consumer/user side.

By mindless1 on 10/30/2006 11:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I'd be cool with it. Artists as well as everyone else should continue doing productive, profitable things if they want to be paid, just like "most" people in society do. If someone expects to keep getting paid for their work years later then they might have a bit of an inflated ego.

By oTAL on 10/31/2006 9:44:26 AM , Rating: 2
Some forms of art should be allowed to have longer copyrights. I'd have books, amongst other things (maybe music, movies, games...) to have around 20 years or you could be facing overwhelming competition from work entering the public domain.
There would be an enourmous fight between the recently published works and the ones published 10 years ago, fresh out of copyright, but still pretty new and VERY inexpensive. On the other hand, after 20 years nothing is fresh new, so it's acceptable to have it open, including books and music... it would actually increase the cultural output of society by making culture more accecible and still a tad competitive... It would bring a new class of cheap culture items like books, music and movies which are over 20 years and are therefore freely available, distributable, modified, etc....
Software, on the other hand should have a 10 year copyright span.
Win 95 should be open sourced and made freely available to everyone.

Don't blame old laws
By CSMR on 10/29/2006 8:54:43 PM , Rating: 2
I do not believe that legal language of 300 years ago would apply to to digital information unless various analogies are made by lawyers between printed writing and computer data. The lawyers should be blamed and not the old laws. Old British law was very reasonable as it applied to ordinary people and their business, basically common sense tempered with decency. If there were computers and CDs back then I don't think you would be put in jail for backing up your CDs.

1st Post!!!!
By SunAngel on 10/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: 1st Post!!!!
By SunAngel on 10/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: 1st Post!!!!
By Maximilian on 10/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: 1st Post!!!!
By joust on 10/29/06, Rating: 0
RE: 1st Post!!!!
By MemberSince97 on 10/29/06, Rating: -1
RE: 1st Post!!!!
By maniak on 10/30/2006 10:16:38 AM , Rating: 2
In Soviet Russia law updates you.

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