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UK to Rewrite Copyright?

Posted by Andrew at 12:42 AM on August 2, 2011

Channel 4 News is reporting that the British Government will put forward changes to the UK’s archaic copyright laws on Wednesday. Format shifting for both music and video is expected to become legal as will sharing  with family. Parody works will gain protection.

The proposals will be announced by Vince Clarke Cable, Business Secretary on Wednesday, and while file sharing using peer-to-peer and similar technologies will remain illegal, the legalisation of format shifting will allow companies like Amazon and Google to offer online music services which store copies of the owner’s music collection. This is currently illegal under British law which is why none of the current offerings are available here.

The protection to parody works (spoof music videos) is also good news as several popular songs such as Newport State of Mind have struggled to stay on-line in the UK where parody doesn’t have the protection it might in the US.

Overall, very welcome news for consumers in the UK and fingers crossed that the proposals don’t get too watered down before they become law. More news on Wednesday.

2 Comments

  1. From georgied at 2:38 am on August 2, 2011

    As much as I like Vince Clarke and his music, I don’t think he’s the Government’s Business Secretary. I think you might mean Vince Cable.

  2. From Andrew at 5:20 am on August 2, 2011

    Oops, I’ve revealed by electro pop 80s tendencies.

    Thanks for that – a bit of erasure and correction now required!

    Anrew