AfterDawn: Tech news

Consumer Watchdog says UK Copyright laws are the worst

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 16 Apr 2009 16:31 User comments (5)

Consumer Watchdog says UK Copyright laws are the worst Consumer Focus has said that the copyright laws of the United Kingdom needlessly criminalize music fans and badly need to be updated. The comments come as the UK was ranked last in a survey of 16 countries' copyright laws. Currently, UK law technically makes it illegal to copy a CD that you "own" onto a computer or a portable player like an iPod, despite the fact that manufacturers like Apple provide software to do exactly that.
"UK copyright law is the oldest, but also the most out of date," said Ed Mayo, chief executive of Consumer Focus. "The current system puts unrealistic limits on our listening and viewing habits and is rapidly losing credibility among consumers. A broad 'fair use' exception would bring us in line with consumer expectations, technology and the rest of the world."

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, the UK and the United States were all surveyed. It ranked countries based on a balance between the interests of rights holders and the interests of consumers.

"It is currently a copyright violation [in the UK] to rip a CD that you own on to your PC or iPod," said Consumer Focus, "even though over half (55%) of British consumers admit to doing it and three in five (59%) think this type of copying is perfectly legal." Digital rights campaign body the Open Rights Group, backed the calls from Consumer Focus.

"The government is undermining copyright's reputation by failing to give clear rights to users in a changed digital world, where we all rip, mix and burn. Copyright urgently needs reform, as this study shows," said Open Rights group executive director Jim Killock.

Previous Next  

5 user comments

116.4.2009 19:48

I wonder how long it took for this group to figure this one out?!?

Sadly, I think the USA ranks at No. 2 for most anti-consumer copyright laws AFAIK.

217.4.2009 5:10

i pray they never come to my house i must be such a criminal with all my music ,games and movies .sshhh is that someone at the door lol

317.4.2009 7:03

I am suprized the forgot the music tax. Just have everyone give 1,000 to the RIAA every year.

Obama gave the Queen an ipod. Maybe they ought to check it out and see if it has illegal music on it.

417.4.2009 7:14
varnull
Inactive

“Music is everybody’s possession.
It’s only publishers who think that people own it.”
-John Lennon

517.4.2009 16:24

ffs
it's the uk!
where's the surprise?

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive