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UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks 154

Posted by Zonk
from the like-they-should-have-been-able-to dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC news is reporting that music fans in the UK won't have to fear litigation from the British Phonographic Industry. Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said 'consumers would only be penalized if they made duplicates of songs for other people.'" From the article: "Mr Jamieson also called for Apple - which makes the popular iPod portable music player - to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers. Apple applies a digital protection system to its downloads, which means they are not usually compatible with other companies' devices. "
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UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks

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  • by belgar (254293) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:43PM (#15510989) Homepage
    The article! It says nothing!
    • Wow...puts a whole new meaning in 'RTFA' or 'You must be new here'. I guess it's just a promotion of the general /. additude of post first and read later!
    • It isn't what he said. It's how he said it. The italics made the entire quote.
    • by cgenman (325138)
      Mr Jamieson also called for Apple to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers.

      Mr Jamieson further went on to call for legislators to stop the partisian bickering, Walmart to pay their employees a living wage, and for those dogs to stop barking so damned late so that he can get some damned sleep.

    • by Tim C (15259) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @02:52AM (#15512009)
      Actually, it says "everyone who's bought CDs then ripped them to mp3/ogg/whatever and played them on their PC or personal music player has been breaking the law. Previously we've been ignoring that; now, however, we want to make it clear that it's ok and should be legal."

      Basically, it sounds like they finally want a fair use-type clause introduced into UK copyright law. It's going to feel weird at first, no longer being a criminal just because I like to listen to music on my commute (on my iRiver) and at work, but don't like carrying CDs around with me.
      • by Sj0 (472011)
        Isn't it wonderful? They want to fight an ignored, unenforced, and unenforcable aspect of the law!

        Can you say "token copyright reform"? Next thing, they'll be opposing the burning of witches!
  • From the article:
    |" "

    Interesting.
    • They're just applying the rule that if you can't say something nice, say nothing.
      • Would that it were so; I'm afraid they're just applying the more recent rule; usually this rule would only lead to dupes, but in this case it would lead to a faulty article summary - "don't read Slashdot". * Could also be that the editor just gave up halfway into trying to give the impression of actually *reading* the article and thought 'Eh, who gives a shit?'
  • I think Brits have known about this already. Suing every single iPod owner who owns all of the music on his iPod would be disasterous to the record company. Australia has similar laws and the ARIA organisation has always stated they won't prosecute for ripping.

    This is not news...
  • Soo... (Score:4, Funny)

    by dduardo (592868) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:46PM (#15511000)
    What if I made a bunch of copies for myself and carelessly put them where they could easily be taken by stangers?
    • Re:Soo... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MankyD (567984)

      What if I made a bunch of copies for myself and carelessly put them where they could easily be taken by stangers?

      It's called intent. If they can prove you had a motive (i.e. you were leaving them somewhere intentionally) then that would be a crime and rightly so. If you can prove that you did so by mistake, then you would of course be in the clear.

      A P2P network for file sharing can hardly be called carelessly putting them somewhere - you have install the software, run it, and tell it what directorie

    • Re:Soo... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fermion (181285) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:05PM (#15511053) Homepage Journal
      Let's make this a bit less outrageous with some real world examples. Recorded music is easily lost or stolen, and, if left in a car, are often stolen. Therefore the wise person is going to make a copy of an original copy on CD or tape or whatever. If, at some point the duplicate gets lost or stolen, and i keep the original, if this breaking the license. One can extend this to an iPod, with every recording one owns. If the iPod got stolen, does the industry expect the original to be destroyed. Even MS Play for Sure allows music to be copied to a Play for Sure device, and I don't think that the song is destroyed if the device is lost, although this could change as the exact user rights seems to be fluid. The Apple crippled music format allows a song to be copies to nearly unlimited iPods.
      • Re:Soo... (Score:3, Informative)

        by LordVader717 (888547)
        Unlimited ipods, but they all have to be connected to a registered computer. With your itunes account, you can register 5 computers which are allowed to play the "fairplay" tracks, and unlimited ipods. But as soon as you connect said ipod to an unregistered computer (or one that's registered for a different account, I'm not sure on the details) the music will be unplayable until you cennect it to a registered machine.

        So, if someone steals your ipod they won't be able to play the fairplay tracks. And if you
      • If the iPod got stolen, does the industry expect the original to be destroyed.
        Sorry to be blunt, but why the fuck would they?

        You are imagining a scary scenario that just doesn't exist. The unlicensed copy in that case would of course be the one on the stolen device. There's no reason to think otherwise (and there are a few other, more valid scare-scenarios you could have brought up, if you insist on it...)

      • Re:Soo... (Score:3, Funny)

        by Crayon Kid (700279)
        Let's make this a bit less outrageous with some real world examples. Recorded music is easily lost or stolen, and, if left in a car, are often stolen.

        Ough-kay... let's hope we never get to the point that leaving CD's in an unlocked car is the only alternative to file-sharing.
    • What if I made a bunch of copies for myself and carelessly put them where they could easily be taken by stangers?

      Please rip them to iPods and carelessly scatter them about in front of my house. (Obligitory humorless RIAA bastards explanation: THIS IS A JOKE)
  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by b0lt (729408) <b0lt@ls.qc.to> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:49PM (#15511006)
    I just RTFA'd and came back with nothing.
  • Common sense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drspliff (652992) <harry.roberts@NOSPAM.midnight-labs.org> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:51PM (#15511010)
    This is just common sense isn't it?

    Why on earth would anybody want to prosecute me for ripping my cds to play on my mp3 player or to listen to while I'm at work, or for burning my mp3s so I can listen to them in the car...

    This isn't news here in the UK, I'm not really sure about the U.S. but if it is then whoah! there are seriously bigger issues that need to be looked at here.
    • "Why on earth would anybody want to prosecute me for ripping my cds to play on my mp3 player or to listen to while I'm at work, or for burning my mp3s so I can listen to them in the car..."

      To make money because they refuse to update their business model?
    • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @01:38AM (#15511874)
      UK copyright law has several "fair dealing" defences to charges of copyright infringement, written into the law. They're somewhat vague, but allow the non-commercial use of extracts for personal study, reviews, criticism or news reporting. Time shifting, i.e. recording off the radio or television, for the purpose of watching at a later date then erasing have been judged by the courts to be another fair dealing defence.

      To date, there has been no such ruling or written exemption for making duplicates for the purpose of backups or personal use such as media shifting. It's long been assumed that if such a case came to court, media shifting would be added to the list; but it certainly wasn't guaranteed.

      Don't forget, the large media conglomerates DID try to make video recorders illegal in the UK. It certainly wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that music companies would try to get mp3 players banned, or prosecute individuals for media shifting, which remains technically illegal under UK law. Their argument would go somewhat like this:

      "Digital download services are now easily available. iPods and WMA players can be easily filled up with legally downloaded music. Just because someone has an old tape of an album doesn't mean they get to download the CD version for free, they have to buy their favourite music from us in their preferred new format. The defendant does not have the legal right to copy our CDs by 'ripping', and we would like to make clear that people still have to buy music in the new format - whether they want it on their WMA player, their ringtones, or their computer, each of these devices have music specifically designed for their optimum playback, and they are not interchangable. Give us lots of money for every single device you want to play our music on."

      Media companies like Sony BMG, EMI and Koch have been explicitly putting anti-computer corruption into their CDs for some time, to try to prevent ripping. The fact that it's hard to do this on CDs, and so far all they've achieved is a fairly famous root kit, a few damaged macs, and a lot of people forced to learn about ripping just to play their CDs in their car-players doesn't matter to them. It's certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that they would take more direct legal action to sue rippers, and sellers of devices that 'encourage' ripping CDs.
      • Re:Common sense (Score:5, Informative)

        by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @01:58AM (#15511918)
        Sorry, I made an error; Time shifting is now legal and part of the UK law, http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20032498.htm#19 [opsi.gov.uk] as is making transient copies for the purpose of listening to it on say, the computer. Making entire copies of CDs for personal use, or ripping to MP3 is still technically illegal though.
        • Agreed - transient copying of broadcast material is legal in the UK; copying/ripping of CDs is not. The BPI wouldn't dare to sue anyone, as there would be an uproar and the law would be changed, either by a court bending over backwards to rule against the BPI (perhaps using the doctrine of implied licence) or by legislation.
          • No doubt, which is presumably why they're concentrating on DRM rather than the courts when it comes to ripping in the UK. That said, never underestimate the inability of the record labels and media companies to grasp what is blatantly obvious to everyone else, or their ability to point guns footwards.
  • It's about time! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JesusPancakes (941204) <jesus.cinci@rr@com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @07:52PM (#15511016) Homepage
    Well, at least in Britain, the basic idea behind fair use is protected. In America, you have the right to fair use except when you circumvent measures intended to prevent you from exercising fair use. Or is that Soviet Russia?

    Yeah. Isn't it funny how laws can lag so far behind reality? For years, MP3 players have been a burgeoning industry and music on the computer is so entrenched that ISPs and computer manufacturers make specious claims about how their service or product will help you listen to music... yet just now, it has become legal to do anything involving MP3s in Britain.

    At least you're *gaining* rights... on this side of the pond, ours are stripped away in great, sweeping anti-terrorist motions.
    • > Well, at least in Britain, the basic idea behind fair use is protected. In America, you have the right to fair use except when you circumvent measures intended to prevent you from exercising fair use.

      Someone hasn't heard of the European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD)!

    • I don't see how crap like this gets modded as insightful. The parent author clearly has no clue as to what the concept of Fair Use really is. Here, let me give you a little description, and I'll even use a reference or two.

      Ref: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use _Overview/chapter9/9-a.html [stanford.edu]

      From that site:

      In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and "transformative" purpose such as to comment upon, criticize or parody a copyrighted w

    • It's not about time because it's still agsint the law. Until the law is changed there's nothing to stop the BPI from waging was against private copyiers even if they say they wont.
    • No, it is Soviet America. In Soviet Russia, you can legally download music without any digital restrictions management at very reasonable prices.

      In Europe, we have the EUCD which does pretty much the same as the DMCA does in America.

  • At least put '\0'!
  • by Kawahee (901497)
    I dunno if anybody noticed that there was a story going through the pipeline with a huge chunk of text missing, but here's the complete article:

    UK music fans no longer face the threat of prosecution for copying their own CDs on to PCs or MP3 players, as long as the songs are only for personal use.

    Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said consumers would only be penalised if they made duplicates of songs for other people

    Currently anyone transferring music to portable devices breaks
    • It's ironic that he's saying domination is not healthy when talking about apple's drm by limiting other companies but it's ok to limit customers to what they can and can't do with what they purchased.
      • What they're really pissed about is the fact that the pricing situation is reversed for them right now. Apple currently sets the price for music, and they're none too pleased about that. They'd far rather there be competition on online music sales, because that way the cartel (oligopoly, whatever) can set the prices instead. So, yes, they're all "pro-consumer" right now. If they got their way, and were given the opportunity to dictate terms, I'd bet that attitude would change.
  • ...we schizophrenics are left to -- Who are you?

    Hi, I'm your other sel... Never mind. Want some free music?

    Do I! Let's go!
  • Nitpicking (Score:3, Informative)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:04PM (#15511050) Homepage
    I feel the need to nitpick the title: "UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks". This would imply that other music fans, or UK fans previously, could not copy their own tracks. Maybe they couldn't figure out how to use the cd burner? A correct title would be: "UK Music Fans Allowed To Copy Own Tracks".
    • 'I feel the need to nitpick the title: "UK Music Fans Can Copy Own Tracks". This would imply that other music fans, or UK fans previously, could not copy their own tracks. Maybe they couldn't figure out how to use the cd burner? A correct title would be: "UK Music Fans Allowed To Copy Own Tracks".'

      Yeah, and if my friends are any example, it's an important difference. They may be allowed to copy their own tracks, but they're still too stupid to know how. I always end up doing it for them.

    • And what about me, who isn't a Music fan. Can I still copy my own tracks? The correct title would be

      "UK Citizens Allowed To Copy Own Tracks".
  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:11PM (#15511063)
    From TFA:

    "We believe that we now need to make a clear and public distinction between copying for your own use and copying for dissemination to third parties," said Mr Jamieson, whose organisation represents the UK's record labels.

    He told the Commons select committee for culture, media and sport that he wanted to "make it unequivocally clear to the consumer that if they copy their CDs for their own private use in order to move the music from format to format, we will not pursue them".


    Will the RIAA now pressure the US to have the UK kicked out of the WTO? Will we be invadng the UK next for "IP terrorism"? If visiting UK citizens bring their copied music with them on a visit, will they be arrested/fined by US Customs, their copied music confiscated?

    Between the French and the UK, the US copyright-cartels and the DRM-pushers have been receiving some major blows. I don't seriously believe the US would invade either the UK or France. (Mostly because they have way too many things that go "BOOM".)

    I do have to wonder what consequences the cartels will pressure the US into trying to apply to the UK and France over these actions in trying to free their citizens from the Damocles' Sword of copyright-criminalization by simply copying for their own use what they already bought and paid for and insisting on fairness and interoperability in DRM schemes.

    This ought to be interesting to watch. I hope that by raising objections to the UKs' and Frances' actions, they wake a few people up in the US as to the freedoms they are losing, and the raping of the Public Domain and *our* culture for profit.

    Cheers!

    Strat
    • I, for one, welcome our US overlords. Really, I don't know what the Iraqis have been complaining about; I look forward to an endless invasion of my sovereign country with an unknown body count [iraqbodycount.org]
    • Canada has had a similar private-copy exemption for a long time (since the early 80's) to what the UK is basically saying now.

      I can borrow a CD off you and rip it for my own enjoyment then give you back the CD, but you may not dupe the CD and give me the dupe (basically, IANAL).

      What I've been listening to [mikebabcock.ca]
    • It's worth pointing out that the BPI is in fact, the British version of the RIAA. Mr Jamieson is speaking on behalf of the same big record labels when he speaks as a representative of the BPI (British Phonographic Institute) which is the British recording industry association/lobby group/vague legal threats mouthpiece.

      Maybe the record companies have realised they need a slightly more sane approach in the UK and France, as they can't buy off the legislature so easily as in the US? That said, we have just as
    • Hah. Lovely as that sounds, I don't think that is the truth. Court cases are brought against filesharers, ISP illegally supplying their addresses to record companies who lack court orders.

      In truth, no-one here cares about DRM, free software or copyright. It's well outside the public conscience. Media coverage of this stuff, with the exception of the technology program on BBC world/news, there is none. Any colunns in newspaper typically contain laudible inaccuracies, laughible misconceptions and livacious pr
  • It is entirely possible for the recording industry to reach a compromise with users over mp3s. The idea that you aren't allowed to rip, mix, and copy your own cd's/mp3s/etc is ridiculous, and it's good thing that the Recording industry (at least in the UK) has seen some basic common sense.
  • I remember the RIAA said once in a court case that they wholly condoned copying of CDs for fair use, especially for transfer onto portable devices.

    A few months later, they issued a statement which basically said, "We don't believe in fair use. You need out permission to buy, own, listen to, back up, sell, etc. the music." (My own paraphrasing; the original legaliese was something like "Unauthorized copying in any form, such as for transfer to a portable music device, is illegal.")

    Is the market like tha

  • "Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry, said 'consumers would only be penalized if they made duplicates of songs for other people.'"

    Well, that's lovely, but Peter Jamieson, chairman of the British Pornographic, er, Phonographic Industry, does not, contrary to his wishes, create the laws. Also of consideration is the worth of his word. One day he says it's OK, the next day he'll be suing you for doing it. Corporate policy has a tendency to change like that ... especially with or

    • If they've said that they won't pursue, in the press (ie, in front of millions of witnesses), then they've effectively given up their right to pursue someone for those actions. The nice thing about the courts in the UK is that they actually hold people to their word - if the BPI tried to take action against someone, all the defendant would have to do is refer the judge to this (very public) statement and the case gets thrown out.

      It's nice to live in a country that still respects common law. :)
      • This has little to do with common law -- and they would be perfectly within their rights to change their minds. That is their RIGHT. When the government says it won't sue -- you can hold them to it. When a corporation says that, you cannot. It's that simple.

        And, no, just because you live in GB doesn't mean that this changes. Go talk to a lawyer.

    • One day he says it's OK, the next day he'll be suing you for doing it.
      I believe that if he did that he would risk perjury charges. Evidence given to a parliamentary select committee is treated seriously.
  • Someone stores his CD collection on his hard drive, then sells the "hard copies" for £3 ($4.50 - $5) a piece. :-)
  • Almost..Almost...Almost...There we are. Well done.
  • The formats itunes uses are perfectly compatible with any other player save when encrypted with "fairplay" DRM.

    First this guy says he believes consumers should be free to copy format to format, then he calls for apple to license out its drm to other manufacturers.

    It seems to me like this guy doesn't actually want people copying from format to format, but instead wants people to only be able to copy from one DRM format to another.

    He needs to get it through his thick skull, DRM is intentional incompatibility
  • Mr Jamieson also called for Apple - which makes the popular iPod portable music player - to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers. Apple applies a digital protection system to its downloads, which means they are not usually compatible with other companies' devices.

    Haha.

    "But Apple's DRM is super extra good because it's Apple, guys, and they're on our side. It's not Steve's fault - the music industry tells him he has to cripple the files."

  • "Mr Jamieson also called for Apple - which makes the popular iPod portable music player - to open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers."

    I guess Mr. Jamieson (if that is his real name..) forgot that other manufacturers could choose to offer non-drm'd .mp3 files which would work on the iPod, and any other mp3 player on the planet.

    not to mention, didn't the ipod come out ages before any of the "other manufacturers" invent their own drm?
    • I guess Mr. Jamieson (if that is his real name..) forgot that other manufacturers could choose to offer non-drm'd .mp3 files which would work on the iPod, and any other mp3 player on the planet.

      I think what he's aiming at is more the ability to download from iTMS and play on a non-apple device.
  • My understanding is the DRM was "invented" so that the Content owners can restrict the device in which their content/music plays. Or to rephrase, the DRM is there *BECAUSE* RIAA insisted on it as a pre-condition for access the catalog. If the British Music Labels want the music to be "compatible" on all devices, am sure Apple will have NO problem offering DRM free AAC music. Right? As long as they offer their catalogs without stipulating DRM be there, wouldn't Apple be able to offer the downloads in UK
  • by ikekrull (59661) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @12:31AM (#15511745) Homepage
    I mean, its nice for this guy to say that BPI won't sue - but whats to stop other copyright holders using the statutes of law, as they are written, to prosecute those who are quite clearly breaking it by making personal copies.

    The BPI doesnt own copyright on all music, and so they have absolutely no standing to make any general claims around what UK citizens do and do not have to fear when copying music to their iPods.

    For example, if I publish a piece of music on a CD and sell it to joe blow at a gig, and joe blow ends up with it on their iPod, then they have broken the law. I would be well within my rights to bring a case against them, under UK law, and the BPI has nothing to do with it.

    The BPI, by spreading this misconception that all music in the UK is free of personal use restrictions is effectively advocating the piracy of works over which it has no rights whatsoever.

    I mean, maybe these corporations and institutes figure that because they bought the laws initially they should be free to interpret them any way they like, but in my view they need to make it very clear that this waiver only applies to BPI-licensed materials, and that other content is still protected by the statutes as written.

    You are *not* free to copy any music you like, for personal use.

    • > advocating the piracy of works over which it has no rights whatsoever.

      You obviously have no idea what "piracy" is. Copying a track from a CD to a player is _not_ "piracy", regardless of the author being happy about this or not.

      > You are *not* free to copy any music you like, for personal use.

      Which in the real world, just doesnt matter. I dont know in which fascistic dimension you are residing, but here its quite normal for _anybody_ who ever purchased a digital player to copy tracks onto it.
      • You mean the UK.

        Take a look at the legislation, specifically the 1988 copyright legislation as amended by the 2003 EUCD directive, and you'll find you're living in exactly the same fascistic dimension as I am.

        In fact, take a look at this page:

        http://www.patent.gov.uk/copy/indetail/usingcopyr i ght.htm [patent.gov.uk]

        i quote:

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

        Just buying a copy of a book, CD, video, computer program, etc. does not necessarily give you the right to make further copies (eve

        • It is of course quite normal to do it, but it's still illegal.

          That's a very interesting point. Ultimately, in a democracy, surely something that becomes normal behaviour is going to end up becoming legal?

          Consider homosexuality, for example. In the late 19th century you have a number of famous cases of people being jailed for having gay sex (Oscar Wilde and so forth). Fast forward to today, and because British society as a whole now believes any sexual practice involving consenting adults is OK, the only
    • Read the law. You would need to prove substantial loss to yourself caused by Joe Blow copying your CD to his iPod. Since there is no loss to yourself in this situation (since you don't sell iPods loaded with your music, or music in iPod-only format), you have effectively no case. If you managed to squeeze a judgement out of the system and expected compensation, you would be compensated for your actual loss, which is nothing. Joe is technically in the wrong, but there's nowt you can do about it. If your
      • Oh, theres no way in hell i would ever consider suing anyone for listening to my music. The point is that the head of the BPI is advocating illegal activities.

        Also, where DRM is concerned, breaking a DRM method in order to copy the music - Lets say i release a CSS-encrypted DVD and joe blow rips it to his video iPod, then there are specific criminal penalties under the EUCD.

        I'm not threatening anyone with anything, just pointing out that the head of the BPI has no standing to make his claims, and that curre
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Sunday June 11, 2006 @03:50AM (#15512120) Journal
    UK copyright law has, and has always had an section for "private study" under the fair dealing exceptions. The copyright office has clarified that private study includes listening to music purely for personal enjoyment. Whether this would allow one to copy an entire song or album is a matter for consideration, but in the past, British courts have been quite permissive over private use and fair dealing. The fact that there's this exception, and no case law on the matter, means that it's quite possible that the people the BPI is not going to sue aren't breaching coyright in the first place.
  • This has always been the case in the UK. Although, technically, it is a breach of copyright, it has always been tolerated.

    The issue came up when tape recorders first came out. At the time it was eventually made clear. The same thing happened when the VCR emerged - it was made clear that taping for time shifting was OK and would be tolerated.
  • This is a company (or group of companies, it's not entirely clear) who is saying "this is illegal and we could wreck your life for it in court... but we've decided to let you do it. For now."

    Aside from being arrogant and pretentious, it's selective enforcement and shouldn't be allowed. Companies should not be the authority on what actions you may or may not do with the things they produce. They should not have laws that allow them to sue anybody when they feel they have a reason, because a company will alwa
  • open up its iTunes software so it is compatible with the technology of other manufacturers.

    So, does he mean open as in Open Media Commons http://www.openmediacommons.org/ [openmediacommons.org] or does he really mean that Apple should bow to Microsoft Windows Media DRM? (BPI and Microsoft are partners in a number of DRM related projects.)

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