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Old 12-21-2012, 08:49 AM   #16
Graham
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
BTW, which secretary of state is being referred to here? Which government department? Is it the Home Secretary?
Not completely clear from the documents, but the IPO falls under the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS), which would make the Secretary Vince Cable (which makes sense, as he just made this announcement).

https://www.gov.uk/government/organi...ovation-skills

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:53 AM   #17
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Thanks - that makes sense. Any indication as to when this is likely to become law?
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:55 AM   #18
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Hmm. I think that's wishful thinking.

I gave the wrong link earlier. Here's the government's full response document:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/response-2011-copyright-final.pdf

In the section on DRM (p20) (my highlights):
Quote:
The supply and use of equipment to circumvent technological measures is therefore illegal in UK and European law in recognition of the damage it can cause.
That isn't a correct statement of the current law, as I understand it.
It is unclear whether they are attempting to describe the current situation or the intended one after the new legislation, though.

Last edited by murraypaul; 12-21-2012 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:59 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Possessing and using a DRM-stripping tool for non-commercial use is not caught by that section.
Creating one for money, yes.
Creating one otherwise, no.
Distributing one for money, yes.
Distributing one otherwise, no.
Providing information about one, yes.
Possessing one for commercial purposes, yes.
Possessing one otherwise, no.
Using one, no.

The actual announcement:
http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/press/pr...e-20121220.htm
The most relevant portion:
The section you've quoted isn't the one I was talking about. My reading is that DRM stripping is illegal due to 296ZA:

Quote:
296ZACircumvention of technological measures

(1)This section applies where—
(a)effective technological measures have been applied to a copyright work other than a computer program; and
(b)a person (B) does anything which circumvents those measures knowing, or with reasonable grounds to know, that he is pursuing that objective.
(2)This section does not apply where a person, for the purposes of research into cryptography, does anything which circumvents effective technological measures unless in so doing, or in issuing information derived from that research, he affects prejudicially the rights of the copyright owner.
(3)The following persons have the same rights against B as a copyright owner has in respect of an infringement of copyright—
(a)a person—
(i)issuing to the public copies of, or
(ii)communicating to the public,the work to which effective technological measures have been applied; and
(b)the copyright owner or his exclusive licensee, if he is not the person specified in paragraph (a).
That seems to make it clear that removing DRM is not allowed, as the publisher and copyright owner has the same rights against someone who has stripped DRM as they do against someone who has infringed their copyright.

I any case, I certainly agree with Harry that it's of little actual importance, as I can't see any action ever being taken against someone stripping DRM for personal use.

/JB
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:06 AM   #20
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The section you've quoted isn't the one I was talking about. My reading is that DRM stripping is illegal due to 296ZA:
296ZA doesn't actually create an offence, though. It just expands the list of people who have (and so can enforce) rights if an offence has been committed.
296ZB does create an offence, and it does not catch personal use:
Quote:
296ZBDevices and services designed to circumvent technological measures

(1)A person commits an offence if he—

-- (a)manufactures for sale or hire, or

-- (b)imports otherwise than for his private and domestic use, or

-- (c)in the course of a business—

---- (i)sells or lets for hire, or

---- (ii)offers or exposes for sale or hire, or

---- (iii)advertises for sale or hire, or

---- (iv)possesses, or

---- (v)distributes, or

-- (d)distributes otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,

any device, product or component which is primarily designed, produced, or adapted for the purpose of enabling or facilitating the circumvention of effective technological measures.

(2)A person commits an offence if he provides, promotes, advertises or markets—

-- (a)in the course of a business, or

-- (b)otherwise than in the course of a business to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the copyright owner,

a service the purpose of which is to enable or facilitate the circumvention of effective technological measures.
Edit: Currently it is a rather irrelevant point, as the purpose of disabling the DRM is to make a copy (to your calibre library, to dropbox, to a tablet, whatever), and those copies are illegal. When that changes this distinction will matter.

Last edited by murraypaul; 12-21-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #21
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Thanks - that makes sense. Any indication as to when this is likely to become law?
There's a comment on the New Statesman's take on the story that it will be at least 6 months.

http://www.newstatesman.com/economic...llegal-rip-cds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Oppenheim
We have to wait until a Statutory Instrument is introduced, and then gets passed - another 6 months at least.
Note that the New Statesman journalist also believes DRM cirumvention to be illegal:

Quote:
This format-shifting exemption is much more limited than it sounds, however, since breaking digital rights management (DRM) will remain illegal.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:16 AM   #22
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Thanks, Graham.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:22 AM   #23
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Deleted - just spotted a flaw in my argument...
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:25 AM   #24
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Deleted - just spotted a flaw in my argument...
The formatting in my post is rather confusing, I'll try to improve it.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:36 AM   #25
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Given the lack of clarity in the law, and the fact that it's almost certainly never been tested in court, it's not surprising that we can't agree about what it means.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:37 AM   #26
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296ZA doesn't actually create an offence, though. It just expands the list of people who have (and so can enforce) rights if an offence has been committed.
That's not how I read it. It's not just expanding the list - you'll notice that the copyright holder is listed in the additional list, which wouldn't be necessary if the list was intended to be an extension to the existing list (which already contains the copyright holder).

My reading is that it is saying that removing DRM is equivalent to copyright infringement, and we know that copyright infringement is illegal.

The other sections of the act which have been discussed in this thread refer to the creation, distribution etc. of DRM stripping tools. 296ZA is the one which applies to the actual act of removing the DRM.

My understanding of why the other sections explicitly say "commits an offence", whereas 296ZA doesn't is that the others define distribution etc. for profit of these tools as a *criminal* offence, whereas DRM removal results in a civil liability to the copyright holder and others (as listed).

As always, IANAL, so my interpretation could be utter rubbish, but that's the way it reads to me.

/JB

Last edited by jbjb; 12-21-2012 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:39 AM   #27
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Given the lack of clarity in the law, and the fact that it's almost certainly never been tested in court, it's not surprising that we can't agree about what it means.
Now that we can all agree with!

/JB
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #28
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I got the impression circumventing DRM on your own is legal (especially for interoperability reasons) however distributing said tools isn't. But then, IANAL and I don't even play one on TV

Either way, the law changes are a very welcomed one and a much needed step in the right direction. Lots more remains to be fixed, but I think format shifting was overdue ever since using iPods and other mp3 players became mainstream.

I'm also glad that the gov took a stance on the iTax and haven't implemented it. It's beyond silly to levy a tax on music players just because they "might" be used to infringe copyright. Aside from anything, the moment you do that it's just one more reason people will use to justify piracy, after all they've paid a tax for the content now. Meanwhile those of us who do abide by copyright laws and buy music/books, end up paying more for all our hardware.

Is their a tax in the UK on paper because it might be used to copy books? Not been funny, that's a genuine question as afaik some countries do have such taxes, which seems rather silly to me, I'm just not sure if we do? I know several also have such taxies on recordable media too.

Quote:
Musicians' Union general secretary John Smith said: "We feel strongly that the lack of fair compensation will significantly disadvantage creators and performers in relation to the vast majority of their EU counterparts.
Yes, because it's not enough that we buy movies on VHS, then DVD and then BluRay and then 3D BluRay but you also want us to rebuy the content again just to play it on a PC or mobile. Well [censored] [more censoring] [censoring of the censoring of the censor because of censored] you.

I fail to see how getting money at the price you asked for it when everyone bought the CD/Movie/Book isn't fair compensation? Why should it be considered unfair that we then copy that media into a format most suitable to the device we intend to consume it on? Be that a kindle, a phone, a desktop...

I have to say, I'm rather surprised the government haven't implemented the iTax. I imagine that'll change in time though, but perhaps I'm just a jaded pessimist.

Last edited by JoeD; 12-21-2012 at 10:56 AM.
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