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Old 12-21-2012, 03:29 AM   #1
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Change to UK law on digital copying

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20802043

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:39 AM   #2
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For those who don't want to follow the link:

Quote:
Making digital copies of music, films and other copyrighted material for personal use is to be made legal for the first time under government plans.

It has previously been illegal in the UK to rip songs from a CD to a digital player or transfer eBooks, music, films and games from one device to another.

But people will still not be allowed to share the copies with others.
...
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:13 AM   #3
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I read through the detailed government response. They still allow companies to apply DRM measures, but if this would prevent a permitted act, such as copying between devices, you can apply to some central agency for redress. However, such redress could be advice to purchase an additional copy in a format that would work...

Stripping DRM would therefore still be illegal in the UK, as far as I can see.

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipresponse

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Old 12-21-2012, 04:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Graham View Post
Stripping DRM would therefore still be illegal in the UK, as far as I can see.
My understanding (which may of course be wrong) is that currently, DRM-removal is only illegal under UK law if done for commercial purposes. All references to DRM-removal in the copyright act appear to carry a qualifier to that effect.

(Not that it matters from a practical perspective. Nobody ever has been, or is ever likely to be, prosecuted for personal DRM removal.)
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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Good.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
My understanding (which may of course be wrong) is that currently, DRM-removal is only illegal under UK law if done for commercial purposes. All references to DRM-removal in the copyright act appear to carry a qualifier to that effect.
My reading (which may obviously also be wrong - IANAL) of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act is that DRM stripping is *illegal* under UK law.

The sections which make the distinction between commercial and domestic use are those referring to importing, distributing, possessing etc. devices or services designed to remove DRM.

The actual act of stripping DRM, however seems to me to be deemed illegal without restriction to commercial purposes by section 296ZA (Circumvention of Technical Measures).

Relevant legal mumbo-jumbo available here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...copyprotection

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Old 12-21-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbjb View Post
My reading (which may obviously also be wrong - IANAL) of the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act is that DRM stripping is *illegal* under UK law.

The sections which make the distinction between commercial and domestic use are those referring to importing, distributing, possessing etc. devices or services designed to remove DRM.

The actual act of stripping DRM, however seems to me to be deemed illegal without restriction to commercial purposes by section 296ZA (Circumvention of Technical Measures).

Relevant legal mumbo-jumbo available here:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...copyprotection
Quote:
(1)This section applies where—

(a)a technical device has been applied to a computer program; and

(b)a person (A) knowing or having reason to believe that it will be used to make infringing copies—

(i)manufactures for sale or hire, imports, distributes, sells or lets for hire, offers or exposes for sale or hire, advertises for sale or hire or has in his possession for commercial purposes any means the sole intended purpose of which is to facilitate the unauthorised removal or circumvention of the technical device; or

(ii)publishes information intended to enable or assist persons to remove or circumvent the technical device.
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:
Quote:
Private copying - to permit people to copy digital content they have bought onto any medium or device that they own, but strictly for their own personal use such as transferring their music collection or eBooks to their tablet, phone or to a private cloud;

Last edited by murraypaul; 12-21-2012 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:01 AM   #8
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Yes, that's my reading too. Not that it's of any practical importance either way.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
Using one, no.
It's certainly implied in 296ZE, as I indicated above.

Quote:
(2) Where the application of any effective technological measure to a copyright work other than a computer program prevents a person from carrying out a permitted act in relation to that work then that person or a person being a representative of a class of persons prevented from carrying out a permitted act may issue a notice of complaint to the Secretary of State.

(3)Following receipt of a notice of complaint, the Secretary of State may give to the owner of that copyright work or an exclusive licensee such directions as appear to the Secretary of State to be requisite or expedient for the purpose of—

(a)establishing whether any voluntary measure or agreement relevant to the copyright work the subject of the complaint subsists; or

(b)(where it is established there is no subsisting voluntary measure or agreement) ensuring that the owner or exclusive licensee of that copyright work makes available to the complainant the means of carrying out the permitted act the subject of the complaint to the extent necessary to so benefit from that permitted act.
In other words, if DRM prevents you performing the permitted act (in this case copying) you are not allowed to circumvent the DRM. Instead you must complain to the Secretary of State who will decide on the remedial action required.

The response document I linked to earlier mentioned that the remedial action could be 'buy it in a different format'.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:09 AM   #10
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Yes, that's my reading too. Not that it's of any practical importance either way.
Not mine, unfortunately. That doesn't come in the section on DRM, and thus could reasonably be taken to be referring to eBooks without DRM measures. Indeed the government response document goes on to tackle DRM as a specific case later on, where it gives the advice I've outlined above.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
It's certainly implied in 296ZE, as I indicated above.
I don't think so.
It gives a new alternative that does not already exist.
I don't see anywhere where it criminalises anything which is not already so.

Quote:
In other words, if DRM prevents you performing the permitted act (in this case copying) you are not allowed to circumvent the DRM. Instead you must complain to the Secretary of State who will decide on the remedial action required.
It says that you may complain.
It doesn't say that this removes any existing options you already have.

What it does is add an alternative in situations where people cannot, or do not wish to, remove DRM.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham View Post
In other words, if DRM prevents you performing the permitted act (in this case copying) you are not allowed to circumvent the DRM. Instead you must complain to the Secretary of State who will decide on the remedial action required.

The response document I linked to earlier mentioned that the remedial action could be 'buy it in a different format'.
As long as everyone complains to the Secretary of State about the DRM impeding putting the movie on their iTouch, I'm sure the government will have to do something. Just make sure to add the words "your response to this matter by [today + two weeks] is greatly appreciated." Then just follow up on that day and continue to follow up. I'm sure grinding the department to a halt for requests about remedial action will cause a change in thought on that one.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:33 AM   #13
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I suspect that I'll continue to get more practical help from my good friend Alf than from the Secretary of State.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murraypaul View Post
What it does is add an alternative in situations where people cannot, or do not wish to, remove DRM.
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:
Rights holders use these measures to prevent or deter copyright infringement. 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. However, the use of TPM sometimes prevents activities that are permitted acts such as making an accessible copy for the visually impaired. For the majority of permitted acts, either the UK must provide for a means of access to TPM-protected content for the purpose of such acts, or the UK may not do so. Of the permitted acts considered in this document, private copying is the exception: the UK has a choice as to whether to provide a means of access.
It then goes on to describe the means of access as I described above, i.e. by petition to the Secretary of State, noting:

Quote:
It is important to note that the SoS cannot simply authorise a user to circumvent TPMs; it would not be lawful under the Copyright Directive.
I read that as a pretty clear indication that circumventing TPMs (e.g. DRM) would be considered illegal.

Just to reinforce it, lower down, the document states:

Quote:
Many respondents to the consultation expressed concern at the possibility of their work being easier to copy unlawfully if TPM could be overridden or removed. As stated above, users will not be allowed to override or remove TPM.
And as I noted, the response could be to buy another copy in the right format:

Quote:
Possible outcomes of a SoS intervention would include a direction to the user to purchase an existing digital copy that was usable for the purpose required, or that a rights holder provide the user with a particular excerpt from a work.
The only quibble I can see is whether software tools count as 'equipment'.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:44 AM   #15
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BTW, which secretary of state is being referred to here? Which government department? Is it the Home Secretary?
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