BPI: legalize personal music copying in UK

“The British music industry is to recommend to the Government that consumers be allowed to legally copy music without fear of prosecution,” Andrew Murray-Watson reports for The Telegraph. “The BPI [British Phonographic Industry], the body that represents British record companies, believes copyright on CDs and records should be changed to allow consumers to copy music if it is for personal use. Currently, it is technically illegal for anyone to copy a CD onto their computer for the purposes of downloading music onto their own portable music player. In its submission to the Gowers Review – the independent review body set up by the Treasury to examine the UK’s intellectual property framework – the BPI has asked for the issue of this area of music copyright to be addressed.”

“It is believed the organisation, which represents the likes of EMI and Sanctuary, prefers the option of altering copyright protections on music without the requirement for a change in legislation… If Gowers endorses the BPI’s preferred solution to the issue of copying music, it will lead to one of the most significant changes in UK copyright law in decades,” Murray-Watson reports. “Some of the UK’s existing music copyright laws date back nearly 100 years, to the days when the gramophone was cutting-edge technology.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader Nik Fletcher for the heads up.]

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  1. Misleading: Can you elaborate? I fail to see how changing the stupid law that makes ripping a CD for you iPod illegal “locks down users rights”. Seems like a common sense change for the better to me.

  2. Misleading,
    Where do you see that? It looks to me like they are being “realistically altruistic” in this – they realize it isn’t worth their time and effort to chase down folks who copy their CDs and such to their computers, and then to their iPods, so they are asking that part of the law be revised to a “fair use” standard. In reality, it’s No Big Deal! Sure, they’d like to lock down on thieves, and they ought to be able to do that. You aren’t saying people should be allowed to steal someone else’s work product, are you? Let’s not go there.

  3. In other words, the UK music industry is finally realizing the practicality of the concept of “fair use,” which essentially holds that the software (song, video, etc.) is separate from the medium upon which it is stored; you OWN the medium, but you LICENSE the software, and the two are – or should be – legally separate. Let’s hope that the UK can do the right thing on this.

  4. They are trying to bypass iTMS and sell high priced CD’s to iPod users. They make a lot more money selling you that one must have tune via a high priced CD than just the tune you want via iTMS.

  5. “The BPI [British Phonographic Industry], the body that represents British record companies, believes copyright on CDs and records should be changed to allow consumers to copy music if it is for personal use.”

    Sweet! Hopefully the RIAA is listening.

    Andy – while it has not been formally established that ripping CDs to iPods is illegal, the RIAA rhetoric has tried to keep that as a possibility. However, the broader idea is that once you download digital music, you should have the same fair use as with tapes or vinyl.

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