The Right to Copy, Won

by on January 17, 2007

Most people don’t know that under UK law, it is currently illegal to copy music from (say) a CD you have bought, to your own MP3 or other music player. As a result of a petition to Downing Street organised the Open Rights Group, the government has responded positively to the suggestion that we should perhaps not be thrown in prison for making copies of stuff that we own.

“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.”

Unfortunately, this is only a small victory in the face of far worse restrictions being imposed, or attempting to be imposed, upon the listeners of music, the readers of books, the viewers of films, television and indeed the consumers of all media. Time shout “Protect your bits! Support ORG!

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