Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don't Think Twice Its Aright?

Do you know what is legal and what is illegal with respect to copying; films, videos, music, text, illustrations, graphics, photos? It’s still illegal in the UK to rip a CD from your music collection onto your laptop or MP3 player for listening on the move?

A UK consumer watchdog , Consumer Focus have researched consumer attitudes and claim from its findings that copyright law is outdated and that millions are unaware they were breaking laws. Copying a CD or DVD onto a computer or an Ipod for your own use is defined in law as format shifting. An argument against allowing people to shift format was that the artists could claim that these works only had a limited lifespan and so people should pay them again for having the work on a different format. Ofcom claim that some 41% of the UK adult population, 18 million people, own an MP3 digital music player, such as an iPod and 5 million who own mobile phones that have a MP3 music player.

In a poll performed by Consumer Focus , of 2,026 people, some 73% said that they did not know what they could copy or record and almost 38|% confessed of copying music files onto their digital players.

The research has thrown light on the outdated copyright laws in the UK.
Consumer Focus acknowledged that not a single person has been prosecuted for format shifting for their own use but argued that the law had to be changed if the music industry wanted consumers to take its concerns over piracy seriously. A spokesman for the BPI, the record industry trade body, said: “We agree that the format shifting of legitimately purchased CDs should not leave consumers in a legal quandary.

The law may be in need of change here, and education is needed to bring common sense to the table. However, we now face challenges to yesterday's copyright in many areas and there is a clear need for more common sense and education on many fronts.

So will you stop and think twice before you copy that track to your MP3 player or simply do it and say the law is an ass?

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