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Today the High Court of the United Kingdom handed down an excellent decision—excellent because the result is so unreasonable, so out of touch with reality, and so divorced from the needs and expectations of ordinary users, that it provides a textbook illustration of the need for urgent reform of the outdated and unbalanced European Copyright Directive.
In a nutshell, the court struck down the UK government's decision to allow users to lawfully make copies of content that they have purchased for personal use, given the absence of a compulsory levy to compensate copyright owners for the “harm” that they suffer from such copying. The government's choices are now to remove the private copying exception—making personal copying illegal again, or to supply additional evidence that copyright owners suffer no or minimal “harm” from personal copying, or else to begin imposing a new tax on users to compensate the industry for that “harm”.
The notion that every use of copyright works by users (which for digital works, generally involves a technical act of copying) is a use that rightsholders must be compensated for, is not a notion with any historical foundation in copyright law. Copyright law is a limited monopoly right that is bestowed by statute, and therefore it can be limited or taken away by statute just as easily. Thus, the limitations and exceptions to copyright law are as much an integral part of it as the exclusive rights of copyright owners are.
originally posted by: Azureblue
a reply to: TheSpanishArcher
European Copyright Madness?
Definitely not,. This is the perfectly predictable action of a predatory government intent on enslaving the masses.
Here’s how the drama started. Back in October of 2014, the UK’s intellectual property office rendered a long overdue update to its copyright law, allowing people, for the first time, to legally make MP3 copies of CDs they had purchased for their personal use. (We’ve got a similar law on the books in the US). The extremely narrow measure—it only applies to content acquired permanently, and only for private, exclusive use—was deemed to cause “zero or insignificant harm” to the music industry. Sound logic, as everybody had already backed up and binned their CD collections long ago and didn’t realize there was an issue.
Back in the Parliament, however, the Legal Affairs committee (JURI), has just adopted French centrist MEP Jean-Marie Cavada’s amendment to the report, removing Freedom of Panorama rights across the EU (and EFTA) member-states by adding the unitalicised text to the following paragraph from Reda’s report:
16. Considers that the commercial use of photographs, video footage or other images of works which are permanently located in physical public places should always be subject to prior authorisation from the authors or any proxy acting for them;
Rather than allowing everyone to take and publish photographs of buildings and monuments in public places — as celebrated in Wiki Loves Monuments every year, as well as many, many books with author-supplied photographs — full permissions, clearances and royalties would need to be negotiated for videos, photos, paintings or drawings with any potential commercial use, or only authorised images could be used, again with royalties to be paid.