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UK Parliament Questioning DRM 107

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the like-waking-up-from-a-long-nap dept.
Lasting News has a story about a UK parliamentary report on DRM issues. According to BBC News, the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group has expressed its concerns about the over protection caused by DRM. This report is insisting on the need for information. Both consumers and DRM makers should informed of UK copyrights' legal context. According to this report, consumers should be aware about how they are able (or not) to switch from one gadget to another media player. The report also raises fresh concerns about copy protection software implemented by some DRM makers that could be sued under current UK laws.
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UK Parliament Questioning DRM

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  • Lasting News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linvir (970218) * on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:43AM (#15478686)

    Lasting News doesn't deserve a link. Their story basically does what Slashdot does, which is to link to other articles, summarise them, and provide a quote. They add nothing. To link to them contributes to this annoying aggregation spam [slashdot.org] which makes researching a topic through Google a tedious process of weeding out shit like this.

    The usual response to this is that they "deserve credit for the find", which is bullshit too. For one, it's most likely not a find at all, but an article noticed in an RSS feed. And anyway, who cares about "the find"? Most of the "this is a cool site" links that we've been seeing lately come from Digg. Do those (lazy) submitters start their submissions with "Digg has a story on..."?

  • My Fear of DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:44AM (#15478692) Journal
    I've never used iTunes.

    I installed it but then actually read through everything--EULA & all. I was pretty disturbed. It sounded less & less like I was paying for music ... and more & more like I was paying for the right to listen to the music as long as iTunes say fit.

    Many of my friends depend on that little application for their music. Should iTunes decide to stop working for whatever reason, there wouldn't be much that the user could do. I would be worried about Apple facing RIAA lawsuits for selling music too cheap and then simply patching iTunes to charge every user another dime before they can listen to each track again. After all, didn't Apple just pull the $1 price out of their ass?

    It's about time a government questions DRM & I would think it's about time consumers (on a mass scale) start questioning DRM. I told my friend about how DRM works with iTunes and she completely didn't understand so I told her to open an iTunes file with Windows Media Player ... which didn't work, of course. I think that the concept of DRM is very shady and that consumers think they are buying the music when they're really just buying the ability to decrypt certain songs and the period for which they can decrypt those songs is unspecified.

    DRM is supposed to be used as a tool that prevents users from sharing files or copying iPods to hard drives on the go. I think that DRM has a dual purpose though, one that may end up hurting consumers because a lot of them clearly don't understand what they've signed up for. If you have iTunes, I recommend burning all your music to CD in case that magical day happens when the company that owns your access program changes its mind ... at least that way you can rip the hodgepodge of discs you have with CDex [sourceforge.net].

    I still buy the archaic media on a physical disc. Why? Because I own that and it's not going anywhere. If they start putting DRM on CDs, I'm going to take my 1100 discs worth of ripped CDs (100% legal) and place a 300GB hard disk copy of it in a safe deposit box in a freaking bank. We pay for the rights to listen to that music. Technology has enabled us to listen to that music at home, in the car, while jogging or almost anytime we wish. I predict we're entering an age where the right to listen to the music is no longer sold--simply a temporary access fee with no ownership entailed.

    Digital Rights Management, indeed!
    • Minor nitpick (Score:5, Informative)

      by interactive_civilian (205158) <{mamoru} {at} {gmail.com}> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:03AM (#15478767) Homepage Journal
      eldavojohn said: I've never used iTunes.

      Then I guess perhaps you are not aware that iTunes is not just the iTunes Music Store. I use iTunes to manage my music all the time, but I have never bought anything from the iTMS. I can migrate my music to any other program I want, as long as it can handle MPEG4 Audio (AAC) and MP3, which most can.

      It's not that I disagree with you about DRM, but make sure you are using correct information or people will think you don't know what you are talking about.

      • Then I guess perhaps you are not aware that iTunes is not just the iTunes Music Store. I use iTunes to manage my music all the time, but I have never bought anything from the iTMS. I can migrate my music to any other program I want, as long as it can handle MPEG4 Audio (AAC) and MP3, which most can.

        I use file explorer to "manage my music" and to put it onto/off of my Mp3 player, but that's because my MP3 player isn't crippled.
        • Doesn't the iPod show up as a mass storage device when you plug it in? Esp. through IEEE1394 on models so equipped? In which case can't you load music into it in a platform-agnostic fashion?
          • Doesn't the iPod show up as a mass storage device when you plug it in?

            It does.

            In which case can't you load music into it in a platform-agnostic fashion?

            With the stock firmware, no. The files are all there (usually with scrambled names if iTunes put them there), but there's a file (iPod_Control/iTunes/iTunesDB) that contains all of the metadata and that tells the iPod which file to play for which song. On Linux, ipodslave [sourceforge.net] and gtkpod [gtkpod.org] provide compatible, but limited, functionality. (gtkpod doesn't

    • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ickoonite (639305) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:04AM (#15478769) Homepage
      It sounded less & less like I was paying for music ... and more & more like I was paying for the right to listen to the music...

      It has always been so - indeed, you say as much later on ("We pay for the rights to listen to that music"). When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more. Fair use legislation in the USA may give you additional rights (I am English and am not fully versed in US copyright law), but in essence, you are only afforded the right to listen.

      Of course, in the real world, the practicality of enforcing such restrictions is limited, so people are generally allowed to do certain things, but they do not necessarily have any basis in law. Indeed, in the UK, the seemingly innocent act of format-shifting (i.e. ripping one's vinyl to the computer and burning a CD, or ripping one's CDs to the computer and putting them on the iPod) is, the record companies and royalties collection organisations would certainly like to have you believe, illegal. In reality, no-one cares but them.

      Truth is that all DRM is doing is enforcing restrictions that have always been there, but that have hitherto been unenforceable, and that's where DRM falls down - digital, binary, cold and emotionless as it is, it sees only wrong and right. There are no shades of grey, but it is the great expanse of grey in which we find the "rights" to which we believe we are entitled, and which we have been afforded because it is rare that the law is followed to the letter. At least over here, the key term is "reasonableness", a term of which computers have no understanding and which no algorithm can replace.

      Oh well. One day we will look back on the glory days of the 20th century when information really was more-or-less free.

      iqu :|
      • When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more.

        I could've sworn you got a CD as well as a license! ;-)
      • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kfg (145172) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:18AM (#15478833)
        It has always been so - indeed, you say as much later on ("We pay for the rights to listen to that music"). When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD.

        No, you are not. No license is required to listen to music, read a book or watch a performance.

        A license is only needed to copy works covered by copyright. The publisher of the CD is the only one who requires a license.

        When you buy a CD you are, very simply, acquiring a piece of property.

        Do not license music; buy it!

        KFG
        • How do you play digital media without copying them?
          • Legal restrictions on copying are not defined by your intuition. They are defined by law.

            The law explicitly states that incidental copies in order to use digital media as intended is not restricted. This applies to software as well, not just music.

            Copyright law is largely proscriptive. It tells you what you are not allowed to do. If it doesn't say you can't do it, you can. Nonetheless the holders of copyrights have historically often tried to overstep the bounds of their rights, such as trying to sell books
            • Take two, since I seem to have replied to my own post rather than yours. Maybe I missed some context, but I thought this thread was about UK law?
              • I seem to have replied to my own post rather than yours. Maybe I missed some context, but I thought this thread was about UK law?

                And I seem to have been thinking about the story on legislation currently being introduced to the US Congress.

                However, most of my post is still based on international treaty agreements to which the UK is signatory and common law, since I wished to cover as much of an audience as possible.

                The lack of license attached to media is the very reason that DVDs are region coded. It is oft
                • It also states

                  17.--(1) The copying of the work is an act restricted by the copyright in every description of copyright work; and references in this Part to copying and copies shall be construed as follows.

                  (2) Copying in relation to a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work means reproducing the work in any material form.

                  This includes storing the work in any medium by electronic means.

                  snip

                  (6) Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making of copies which are transien

                  • This is the section of the Act which causes licences to be necessary to run a program, and exactly the same logic is applicable to mp3s.

                    Sections of the act applying to software do not apply to sound recordings, however logical it might seem.

                    Quote me the part of the act that explicitly states the same for sound recordings. Logic has nothing to do with law, only code and court rulings.

                    From the FAQ:

                    "But if I've bought something, can't I use it however I like?

                    Just buying a copy of a book, CD, video, computer pr
                    • Quote me the part of the act that explicitly states the same for sound recordings.
                      I just did, but I can quote it again with added emphasis:
                      (6) Copying in relation to any description of work includes the making of copies which are transient or are incidental to some other use of the work.
          • Maybe I missed some context, but I thought this thread was about UK law?
      • Indeed, in the UK, the seemingly innocent act of format-shifting (i.e. ripping one's vinyl to the computer and burning a CD, or ripping one's CDs to the computer and putting them on the iPod) is, the record companies and royalties collection organisations would certainly like to have you believe, illegal.

        Well, IANAL, but I did once take the time to read our copyright law, and unfortunately they're correct. While there is a specific exemption for time-shifting broadcasts (and an explicit statement that you'r
      • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:44AM (#15478948) Homepage
        When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more.

        No. Sorry. Wrong.

        When you buy a CD containing music, or a DVD containing a movie. Or a book containing a novel, you buy two things;

        • A physical media (a round plastic-thing or a stack of specially treated dead trees)
        • A single copy of a copyrigthed work.

        Both of which are your property for you to do as you wish with, aslong as that what you wish is inside of applicable law.

        There are things you can't do with these items, even though you own them. Because you're constrained by law. For example, you can't hit your neighbour over the head with the book, because there's laws against that. And you can't have a public performance of the music on the CD, because copyright-law prevents that.

        • Both of which are your property for you to do as you wish with, aslong as that what you wish is inside of applicable law. There are things you can't do with these items, even though you own them. Because you're constrained by law. For example, you can't hit your neighbour over the head with the book, because there's laws against that. And you can't have a public performance of the music on the CD, because copyright-law prevents that.

          I think you hit the nail on the head. What the law says is that you have

          • There are things you can't do with these items, even though you own them. Because you're constrained by law.

            I think you hit the nail on the head. What the law says is that you have every right except for those that have been specifically prohibited. What the MPAA/RIAA wants (and wants you to think already exists) is a system where you have only the rights that they specifically assign to you.

            And to add my points, notice that these restrictions are

            • independent of your ownership.
            • not individua
        • For example, you can't hit your neighbour over the head with the book, because there's laws against that.


          But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Eivind, "And who is my neighbor?"

      • " Fair use legislation in the USA may give you additional rights"

        Something we don't get here in the UK.

        No copying to other formats for personal use at all.
      • When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more.

        In the US, at least, that's quite wrong.

        Copyright does not encompass the right to listen to the music. Rather, the person who has the right to listen to the CD is the owner of the CD, who typically bought it in a store. The relevant copyright holder can control public performances of the CD, or the making of copies of the CD, but not just anything to do with the CD. Furthermor
      • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:3, Interesting)

        But in the realm of ownership, there is no concept of reasonableness. How much could I reasonably use your back yard without your permission? Once you accept ownership and property as applicable to the realm of ideas, all of these problems (DRM, Broadcast Flag) are unavoidable consequences, implicit in the premise of owned ideas.

        If you want a system that's reasonable, stop thinking about ideas as property, and start thinking about economics. Ideas are naturally free and non-rival. Any restrictions upon th

      • "). When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more.

        This is incorrect.

        You don't need a license to listen to any music. Copyright doesn't restrict listening in any way, so the owners of the copyrights don't have any way to legally prevent you from listening to the music. Copyright does restrict public performance, so you can't play the music for others to listen to, under certain circumstances, but you and your friend

      • "At least over here, the key term is 'reasonableness', a term of which computers have no understanding and which no algorithm can replace."

        We have an even stronger term over here -- "limited"!

        From our Constitution: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8)

        It's right there, black and white (at least it seems to me). Any DRM mechanism that doesn'
      • Fair use legislation in the USA may give you additional rights (I am English and am not fully versed in US copyright law), but in essence, you are only afforded the right to listen.

        By the license, yes. However, Fair use law gives you additional explicit rights which cannot be cancelled by contract. You have the right to format-shift, for example; it is entirely legal to rip music from a CD and put it on a casette tape, mp3 player, 8-track, or wax cylinder. You also have the right to make a backup copy

      • When you buy a CD, you are purchasing a licence which grants you the right to listen to the music contained on that CD, nothing more.

        Legally false. Under US law when you buy a CD you are buying ownership of a piece of physical property. You receive no license at all when you buy a CD or a book, because under US law you need no license. In copyright law there is no such thing as a "right to read" or a "right to listen", and it is impossible to license a non-existant right.

        According to US law and the Bern Con
    • Isn't there an itunes equivalent to freeme [spinnaker.com]?
    • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:4, Informative)

      by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:10AM (#15478794) Homepage Journal
      and more & more like I was paying for the right to listen to the music as long as iTunes say fit.

      Damn straight - if you buy from iTunes, you have to remember that you're at Apple's mercy - you've waived your rights to fair use, playback on non-apple portable players, any future restrictions on burning that Apple decides to put in place, etc.

      One of the most depressing things I've ever seen is the look on my friends face after finding out that the quicktime video he'd lovingly crafted on his ibook (just a collection of pictures & short videos from New Years Eve) was spamming his friends.

      You see, he'd included a 5 second sample from Neutron Dance (from the beverly hills cop soundtrack) that he'd purchased from ITMS. The quicktime file played perfectly on his computer, but when played on anyone else's computer (he sent them to everyone on CD), there was a pop-up saying IIRC "unlock this computer or buy from itunes"

      The sad thing was, he's the sort of guy who's perfectly capable of downloading from edonkey or torrents, but chose to do the right things. He's not going to be purchasing from ITMS again.
      • Damn straight - if you buy from iTunes, you have to remember that you're at Apple's mercy - you've waived your rights to fair use

        How's that, exactly?

        In the US, at least, fair use is an affirmative defence, rather than a right. But I don't see how buying from any particular content provider denies you that legal option.

        Whether making copies of iTMS-sourced music violates other laws, such as the DMCA, is a different question. Perhaps the single most insidious thing about that particular piece of legis

        • How's that, exactly?

          In the US, at least, fair use is an affirmative defence, rather than a right. But I don't see how buying from any particular content provider denies you that legal option.

          Whether making copies of iTMS-sourced music violates other laws, such as the DMCA, is a different question. Perhaps the single most insidious thing about that particular piece of legislation is that it does seem to provide Big Media(TM) with a means of making fair use illegal by the back door.

          I guess you answered your
        • You haven't so much waived your right to fair use, but lost the ability to exercise that right.

          This is because if you try to make a copy under fair use, the DRM software will stop you.

          Of course I am, not unreasonably, assuming here that your DRM software does not include a perfect AI duplicate of the current US Supreme court (or your local equivelant) in software, and is therefore unable to tell if the copy you are making is fair use or not...

           
      • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:1, Redundant)

        by mo^ (150717)
        Since when is using somebody elses work then punting it off as your own considered the RIGHT way to do things????

        Really, i do not agree with the less than subtle methods of the music industry, but placing the work of somebody else in your own then distributing it to friends is certainly not within any grey area that i can think of.

        Most (some anyway) companies are happy to allow people to use their work in this form (especially if educational), with permission, and the right of parody is protected, but when
        • You really think sending a 5 second fragment from one of the most recognisable songs in the world to 20 friends you spent NYE with is plagiarism and not fair use?

          I think you need to go & read a little more on what plagiarism and fair use mean.
          • He would be right, because it is not covered by fair use. The courts have taken a very dim view of sampling without first getting permission of the original rights holder, and there are a number of cases to this effect.

            In particular I'm thinking about Bridgeport Music vs. Dimension Films, where the sampled content was less than a second or two. Here's a fairly good summary summary [ivanhoffman.com] that I found via Google.

            Obviously there are additional issues when you are profiting off of the work versus just using it yourse
            • He would be right, because it is not covered by fair use.

              I understand what you're saying about sampling, but your example of a commercial use of sampling isn't a fair one - the four factors to take into consideration with fair use are often given as: [copyright.gov]

              1.the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
              2.the nature of the copyrighted work;
              3. amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a wh

              • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:3, Informative)

                by shark72 (702619)

                Your understanding of fair use doctrine is surely better than 90% of Slashdot readership; for that I commend you. But keep in mind that it's a common myth that "giving copies to my friends" falls under fair use because it's non-commercial. This is often slippery-sloped into "and file sharing is just giving copies to 1,000 of my closest friends." While making five or ten copies of a song to give away to friends would certainly be under the radar -- you'd have to be the most unlucky person in the world to

      • but chose to do the right things.

        How is distributing the beverly hills cop soundtrack "doing the right thing"? Did iTunes automaticly give him this right? Does a CD?
      • This is a perfect example of how the restrictiveness of DRM interferes with the read-write culture by denying fair use. What is the economic and cultural impact of locking up all this creativity? It seems like this question is never asked when the "merits" of DRM are considered.
      • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:3, Informative)

        by shark72 (702619)

        "Damn straight - if you buy from iTunes, you have to remember that you're at Apple's mercy - you've waived your rights to fair use, playback on non-apple portable players, any future restrictions on burning that Apple decides to put in place, etc."

        Can you give an example of a fair-use right that iTMS doesn't give you?

        "You see, he'd included a 5 second sample from Neutron Dance (from the beverly hills cop soundtrack) that he'd purchased from ITMS. The quicktime file played perfectly on his computer, b

        • You have a right to sell your copy of a record, but you have no rights under copyright law to anything on it.

          Blatantly incorrect.

          This is for non-commercial, non-receipt of goods in exchange use. Have a read of the audio home recording act.
    • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209)
      I would never invest in a music collection that could only work with one brand of player. It amazes me how many people are willing to do so.
      • > I would never invest in a music collection that could only work with one brand of player. It amazes me how many people are willing to do so.
        I bet you would never pay for water and ice. And also would never pay for oxygen (at a oxygen bar for instance.)
        I am guilty of wasting many hours hacking my Tivo, and phone (also to play mp3's), and handheld to be able to play a video, etc that I could have just purchased much cheaper. I did it because I liked the challange, but it would have been much more effic
    • Re:My Fear of DRM (Score:3, Insightful)

      by muellerr1 (868578)

      Digital Rights Management, indeed!

      You're right, this phrase is corporate-speak for 'taking away consumer rights' in the same way that 'Document Retention Policy' outlines how to destroy sensitive documents. If you look at what 'Rights Management' means in the stock photo world, some photos you purchase an unlimited license to do with what you want (though the pricing is tiered based on the resolution of the file), but the lion's share of good photos are very limited in what you can do with them. I ther

    • I'm going to take my 1100 discs worth of ripped CDs (100% legal) Actually, under the 1988 Copyright Designs & Patents act, ripping CDs you own is illegal in the UK
      • No it's not, because it's covered under the "fair dealing" exemption.

        Nobody has ever been successfully prosecuted in the UK for home taping or any other kind of format-shifting. Nobody ever will be. If it ever gets to Crown Court it will most probably be found legal {where are they going to get a jury of 12 people, none of whom have ever taped an album to listen in the car?} which the music industry really don't want. And also, a bent copper can obtain a search warrant on the basis of seeing a home-c
        • Lord Templeman : " ...I do not agree that a home copier commits a criminal offence. By the Performers' Protection Acts 1958 to 1972 it is an offence knowingly to make a record of a performance of literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work without the consent in writing of the performers, but it is a defence to prove that the record was made for private and domestic use only."

          This is the most interesting comment he made ...

          "From the point of view of society the present position is lamentable. Millions of b
    • If they start putting DRM on CDs, I'm going to take my 1100 discs worth of ripped CDs (100% legal) and place a 300GB hard disk copy of it in a safe deposit box in a freaking bank.
      Too late [google.com].

      I recommend this [newegg.com].
    • Many of my friends depend on that little application for their music. Should iTunes decide to stop working for whatever reason, there wouldn't be much that the user could do. I would be worried about Apple facing RIAA lawsuits for selling music too cheap and then simply patching iTunes to charge every user another dime before they can listen to each track again. After all, didn't Apple just pull the $1 price out of their ass?

      I know audiophiles will beat me over the head for this, but you know it's difficult
  • dupe (Score:1, Informative)

    by Toba82 (871257)
    This was covered YESTERDAY [slashdot.org]. The editors seriously have no idea what they are doing.

    Also: yay UK parliament for caring.
  • Haven't we already seen this story ?
    • Yes, we have - yesterday [slashdot.org]. While the link to the report is new, the BBC news link is identical.

      If only posted stories were held in some sort of storage system that allowed easy searching over the text, perhaps this sort of thing could be detected...
    • With apologies to Red Dwarf:

      RIAA: What are we waiting for, why don't we install restrictive DRM software?
      Slashdot: An excellent plan, sir, with only two minor drawbacks: One, we don't have the right to install restrictive DRM software and two, we don't have the right to install restrictive DRM software. Now I know technically speaking that's only one drawback, but I thought it was such a big one, it was worth mentioning twice.
  • Land of the Free? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MosesJones (55544) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @06:59AM (#15478752) Homepage
    So at the same time as the US Goverment is trying to reduce people's rights around copying the UK goverment is critisising exactly these moves and demanding more visibility and rights.

    Errr you know that bit about throwing off the yoke of tyranny in 1776.... Whose goverment would you _really_ want at the moment?
    • You speak as though El Presidente Blair is anything more than Bush's hand puppet.
    • Re:Land of the Free? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Errr you know that bit about throwing off the yoke of tyranny in 1776

      Hardly. I mean the USians were fighting for their right to keep slaves, and to invade the native american tribes west of the appalatians, both of which the British were against. There was a complaint between some tea distributors, but IIRC tea cost *less* in Boston than in London at the time.

  • by rimberg (133307) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:10AM (#15478795) Homepage

    It is well worth reading the actual report. [apig.org.uk] The key points of the report:

    * A recommendation that the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) bring forward appropriate labelling regulations so that it will become crystal clear to consumers what they will and will not be able to do with digital content that they purchase.

    * A recommendation that OFCOM publish guidance to make it clear that companies distributing Technical Protection Measures systems in the UK would, if they have features such as those in Sony-BMG's MediaMax and XCP systems, run a significant risk of being prosecuted for criminal actions.

    * A recommendation that the Department of Trade and Industry investigate the single-market issues that were raised during the Inquiry, with a view to addressing the issue at the European level.

    * A recommendation that the government do not legislate to make DRM systems mandatory.

    * A recommendation that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport review the level of funding for pilot projects that address access to eBooks by those with visual disabilities and that action is taken if they are failing to achieve positive results.

    * A recommendation that the Department of Trade and Industry revisit the results of their review into their moribund "IP Advisory Committee" and reconstitute it as several more focused forums. One of these should be a "UK Stakeholders Group" to be chaired by the British Library.

    * A recommendation that the Government consider granting a much wider-ranging exemption to the anti-circumvention measures in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act for genuine academic research.

    * A recommendation that having taken advice from the Legal Deposit Advisory Panel, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport hold a formal public consultation, not only on the technical details, but also on the general principles that have been established.

    The Open Rights Group [openrightsgroup.org] have more information and they took part in the consultation. If your in the UK I highly recomend you join them as they act like the the EFF does in the USA.

    • by freedom_india (780002) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:20AM (#15478846) Homepage Journal
      Nope ! That will NOT happen.

      Read the article carefully: "The report also raises fresh concerns about copy protection software implemented by some DRM makers that could be sued under current UK laws.".

      It means that the DRM vendors are liable under CURRENT laws. Hence those laws which can be used to sue DRM vendors will be changed to prevent them from being sued.

      This has got no altruistic intentions. This is just to warn the DRM vendors that they have an unpatched law that can potentially be used to sue them. In the next session, that law will be "patched" by MPs who would have been "educated" by the DRM vendors in Niôe, Barbados, Phuket, etc., such that DRM vendors cannot be sued.

      Consumer rights be damned: They ain't paying for the trips ya know...

      I for one welcome our Trip-Traveling-DRM-owned-MP overlords.

      • Oh, please stop over-dramatising.

        The MPs proposed a series of constructive changes, and the fact that one poor choice of wording reflected into your eyes off your tinfoil hat doesn't mean they shouldn't be given credit for trying to do the right thing. I'm sure Big Media would like them to do what you say, but right now, it doesn't look like things are going their way very much.

        Some of us spent considerable time writing a submission to the Gowers review. Having proposed several of these moves in my own

        • Why must you attack out of pure cynicism those who seem to be trying to do a good thing, rather than supporting them and being grateful that the world may become a nicer place to live because of their actions?

          You must be just-born or incredibly naive to believe politicians are actually doing something to help us (poor, soddy, non-money, voting banks).

          Politicians live purely for Image and their power. They don't like to lose their image AND power for any reason. Image comes from people's perceptions of t

          • From the content of your response, I'm going to assume that you're a US citizen. In which case, apart from being incorrect in some of your statements, you're also unaware of the differences between the US & UK electoral systems - since I'm a UK citizen, I'll explain those.

            Firstly, corporate lobbying of political parties is (in my understanding of the US system) far more open and less restrictive than it is in the UK. Here there are very specific laws that cover just how much "sponsorship" a political

          • What a terribly sad world you seem to live in.

            It sounds like you're from the US, where the political system seems to be irrelevant these days for the sort of reason you state (combined with the complete naivety of the electorate, who collectively bring that irrelevance upon themselves by robotically voting for one of two near-cloned candidates every time).

            Fortunately, most of the world isn't like that. In some places, we even have politicians with integrity, who get into politics because they genuinely

            • I agree with you, and would like to add one point that makes it even stronger.

              This is an "ALL PARTY" parliamentary group reccommending this, not a New Labour/B-Liar tryign to "win votes". SO I would say this is more genuine, and more likely to survive any "change of pariament" etc...
          • That requires money, lots of money: That doesn't come from poor soddy idiots like you and me: It comes from corporates and SIG which have their own vested interests to protect.
            Total spending on the UK general election of 2005 by the three main parties was a touch under £40 million ($70 - $80 million). This might make you realise just how much less influence corporate lobbys have in the UK than the US.
  • It's sad (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dheltzel (558802) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:11AM (#15478800)
    to see the cases of politicians with a clue being reported as major news. I understand the rarity of this makes it newsworthy, but I sure wish this was the default situation and the news only needed to report on stupid and clueless politicians.
  • Dupe Restriction Management.
  • Thank God! (Score:5, Funny)

    by wbren (682133) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @07:50AM (#15478980) Homepage
    Thank God I live in a land where my representatives question industry-backed legislation before they sign off on it! I'm proud to live in a land where--

    Oh wait, the title said "UK Parliament" not "US Congress". I'll be in the corner sobbing.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 06, 2006 @08:45AM (#15479359) Homepage
    Other nations are starting to re-examine their positions and laws on copyright and (hopefully) other IP matters. This will serve to ultimately weaken the U.S.'s laws and once we finally arrive at a place where the rest of the world has simply "had enough" of "US" then maybe the people of the U.S. will once again be able to enjoy the cool freedoms we once had... freedoms to copy our TV shows and making our own recorded entertainment in just about any way we want.

    The day will not come soon enough but I'm watching and waiting...
  • "It's good to see it discussed, so a proper balance can be found before we start seeing widespread litigation over this issue, which otherwise I am sure we will." - Groklaw [groklaw.net]

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

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