UK Government Report Calls For Changes in Copyrights Laws

May 18, 2011 -

A review of copyright laws in the United Kingdom recommends that the government makes some serious changes that work in the digital age we now live in. A new report, requested by PM David Cameron who had concerns that current copyright laws had become outdated, has been released and it recommend some changes that the music, movie and other entertainment industries might find horrific.

The report penned by Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cardiff University suggests legalizing the practice of copying music and films. It also calls for a special agency to be set up (a Digital Copyright Exchange) to handle mediation between rights holders and those that want to license content. Other suggestions include loosening rules on fair use, parodies and other uses of content.

"My recommendations set out how the intellectual property framework can promote innovation and economic growth in the UK economy," said Hargreaves. "They are designed to enhance the economic potential of the UK's creative industries and to ensure that the emergence of high technology businesses, especially smaller businesses, in other sectors are not impeded by our IP laws."

On the Digital Copyright Exchange, Hargreaves calls for a senior figure to serve as the top mediator. Many of the reforms listed in this new report gad already been suggested in the 2006 Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. Obviously these recommendations were not implemented.

Content producers and free software advocates in the country support the proposals, with some urging the government to implement them as soon as possible.

Source: BBC


Comments

Re: UK Government Report Calls For Changes in Copyrights ...

Hmmmm.

"Another big idea in the report is the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange. It would be responsible for so-called orphaned works, content that does not have an identifiable author."

As a hobby artist active in online art communities this frequently-proposed concept has always bothered me (mostly because people who want to steal will find it conveniently easy not to locate the original author of a work), but if it's very clearly defined . . .

Need more detail overall before I'd cast a judgement one way or another, but it looks like consumer rights to purchased copies of IP might become more prominent as a result of this, so I'm optimistic. Format shifting, YES, finally. I wonder if this could have long-term ramifications for service/hardware-restricted purchases like iTunes?

Re: UK Government Report Calls For Changes in Copyrights ...

Here is the problem with orphaned works. They were created when copyright was automatically applied rather than being something a person had to seek out. So when you have automatic copyright, there is no central wuthority on who owns the copyright and when it expires.

Where as before 1974, all one had to do to check a copyright was to look for the work in the US copyright office. If it was not there, you were free to use it. Now adays, you have have to do massive long term search projects to find the owner of anything.

E. Zachary Knight
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