UK to legalize private copying of CDs: source

LONDON Tue Aug 2, 2011 4:34pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will signal on Wednesday that it intends to legalize copying of CDs or DVDs onto digital music players or computers for personal use, a government source said on Tuesday.

The move was one of the recommendations made in a review of Britain's intellectual property framework carried out by Professor Ian Hargreaves earlier this year at the request of Prime Minister David Cameron.

Business Secretary Vince Cable will announce on Wednesday the government's response to Hargreaves' report.

Hargreaves, professor of digital economy at Cardiff School of Journalism, found that Britain's 300-year-old copyright laws were obstructing innovation and growth and said a shake-up could add nearly 8 billion pounds ($13 billion) to the economy.

Cable will signal the government will agree to Hargreaves' recommendation to legalize private copying or "format shifting" of legitimately-purchased copyright works, the source said.

The practice has already been legalized in European countries except for Britain, Ireland and Malta.

The change will mean a consumer may copy a CD they have bought onto another device such as their iPod or home computer.

It will not allow people to share content over the internet without copyright owners' permission, such as on file-sharing sites.

The government will also agree to another Hargreaves' recommendation to introduce an exception to copyright for parody, the source said.

This will make it legal for comedians to parody someone else's work without seeking permission from the copyright holder.

The government has not yet indicated what stance it will take on another Hargreaves' recommendation -- the introduction of a central digital copyright exchange where licenses in copyright could be bought and sold, helping simplify the way businesses purchase rights to material.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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Comments (3)
rjackso wrote:
I wish this was legal in the U.S.

Aug 02, 2011 10:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
LarryC213 wrote:
I guess that nobody has informed the politicians in the U.K., but the little ego-maniac steve jobs has declared that the optical drive, cd’s and dvd’s are all dead and absolutely no one uses this archaic technology anymore :-)

Aug 02, 2011 12:04am EDT  --  Report as abuse
electric38 wrote:
Time to wake up USA. Making gangsta rappers rich (nothing against diamond inset teeth mind you) using outdated patent laws might not have been one of our best moves. Follow suit with these patent limits.
Educational materials (especially books) need an extremely shortened patent life. Motivated children do not need the additional hurdles in order to learn. Yeah, Gates and Jobs, also pointing this at open software platforms and pricing. Hollywood needs to come down from the hills, become part of the human race. Under the make-up, and out of the bright lights, for the most part, you are quite plain and ordinary.

Aug 03, 2011 5:07am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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