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Old 01-17-2007, 02:32 PM   #1
Moonraker
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We can influence copyright changes

Woooo Hooooo and I'll even throw in an Alleluja! (if I could spell it).

I signed a petition some months ago regarding the use of format shifting in the UK.

I have just received an email from 10 Downing Street stating:


You recently signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to
"create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals
the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for
their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and
shifting format."

The Prime Minister's Office has responded to that petition and
you can view it here:
http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page10776.asp

Prime Minister's Office

Petition info: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/privatecopy/

The response:

As you may be aware, in December 2005 the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced that there would be a review of the intellectual property framework in the UK, led by Andrew Gowers.

The findings of this review have now been published and recommend the introduction of a private copying exception for the purposes of format shifting. This would allow individuals to copy music which they have legally bought on compact disc onto an MP3 player without infringing copyright.

The Government welcomes this recommendation and is currently considering how such an exception should be created in UK law.


Well, blow me down with a feather!
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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That is amazingly awesome and encouraging news!

What was the petition? I ask because I would be eager to find an equivalent this side of the pond--provided I do not open myself to "lying" and other illegal action from the RIAA.
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Old 01-17-2007, 08:51 PM   #3
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Wow. Congratulations on being a part of that. I hope that indeed it pushed straight through into law! It seems that e-books are quite fortunately riding the coat tails of cries for allowance to use purchased music with reasonable freedoms. The DRM controls are really starting to cause a pushback.

Keep up informed of the progress!
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Old 01-17-2007, 09:11 PM   #4
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Congratulations. That is a step in the right direction. One person can make an impact.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:21 PM   #5
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The petition was worded as follows:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to create a new exception to copyright law that gives individuals the right to create a private copy of copyrighted materials for their own personal use, including back-ups, archiving and shifting format.

Submitted by Suw Charman – Deadline to sign up by: 26 December 2006 – Signatures: 3,295

We each had to provide our residential address and had to be on the UK Electoral Roll to be elegible to sign.

I hope that format shifting includes books because that was the main reason I signed.

Prior to this I had sent a very long email to my Local MP complaining that the Media Companies were using the G8 summit for their own interests. I asked him to bring the matter up at Prime Minister's Question Time. I never got to know if he did bring the matter up - probably not - but ever since I have been on his mailing list so I get to know all the local matters first hand.

Last edited by Moonraker; 01-17-2007 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:06 AM   #6
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Wow Moonraker, that's j-u-s-t incredible!!

3,295 signatures is an achievement, too.
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Old 01-18-2007, 09:35 AM   #7
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We already have this right in the US, it is called Fair Use. Unfortunately even though we have the right to say, make a backup of a DVD, there is nothing to stop companies from trying to make it harder to do so. This was the big hoohaa over the Digitial Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it basically says you cannot undermine security or encryption measures, which means for your commercial DVDs which are encrypted, you still have the right to back it up for personal use but you do not have the right to bypass the encryption. A nice little end-around to bypass Fair Use eh? You can still back it up by say, running the signal through a VCR and recording it or any other way you can find that does not break the encryption.

And that Andrew Gowers review in the UK was the same review that recommended the UK not extend copyright to match the US's ridiculous amount of time, they found it was anti-consumer to do so. But the UK extended it any way, give with one hand, take away with the other.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaping Gnome
for your commercial DVDs which are encrypted, you still have the right to back it up for personal use but you do not have the right to bypass the encryption.
I've always thought this was completely absurd. We need to get this law changed. I support compensation for the content creators (and even their publishers), but this is just a bad piece of legislation, I think we all agree.

(However, I think the US legislators have their minds on other issues at the moment. Maybe later this year.)
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Old 01-18-2007, 12:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by nekokami
Maybe later this year.
I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 01-18-2007, 01:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaping Gnome
This was the big hoohaa over the Digitial Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) because it basically says you cannot undermine security or encryption measures, which means for your commercial DVDs which are encrypted, you still have the right to back it up for personal use but you do not have the right to bypass the encryption.
Strictly speaking, the DMCA doesn't prevent you from bypassing "security" measures on your legally purchased content.

It prevents you from telling others how to bypass the "security" or to create software for the purpose of bypassing the "security."

(I say "security" because DRM was never about piracy. It's about customer lock-in and squeezing every cent out of them.)

So, me ripping my DVDs to my hard drive is NOT a violation. The person who wrote (and probably any company that distributes) the software that allows me to rip the DVD is the one in violation.

I guess that, technically, if I tell you what software I run and how I rip DVDs, that's also a violation.
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Old 01-18-2007, 04:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
And that Andrew Gowers review in the UK was the same review that recommended the UK not extend copyright to match the US's ridiculous amount of time, they found it was anti-consumer to do so. But the UK extended it any way, give with one hand, take away with the other.
I had not heard that this decision was made?

At present, the UK copyright laws are:

Sound recordings: 50 years after publication of the work.
Literary work including lyrics - 70 years after death of author.

I understand the Gowers Review body recommended rejecting the extension.
I have looked through Gordon Brown's pre-budget speech and can find no mention of it being either accepted or rejected.
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Old 01-19-2007, 03:21 PM   #12
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The laws in the UK relating to copyright aren't local - they are European. I haven't been following that closely, I've seen lot's of discussion but haven't seen any reports of this being taken to Brussels or any change in Directives (again I haven't beenwatching that closely, but I hope I would have noticed a big change like that - can anyone confirm no change in EU law?)
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Old 01-19-2007, 05:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonraker
I had not heard that this decision was made?

At present, the UK copyright laws are:

Sound recordings: 50 years after publication of the work.
Literary work including lyrics - 70 years after death of author.

I understand the Gowers Review body recommended rejecting the extension.
I have looked through Gordon Brown's pre-budget speech and can find no mention of it being either accepted or rejected.
You are right, my mistake. What I had read said the UK was being pressured to extend to match US copyright, not that they had capitulated and done so. Sorry about that, misremembered!
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