Prime Minister announces review of Intellectual Property laws
Originally one of the points of the Digital Britain report was that issues such as format shifting and creating backups of copyrighted material for personal use were to be addressed. In the Digital Economy Act this carrot was removed, and the Act concentrated on the letter writing campaign followed by possible further action if the amount of illegal file sharing did not decrease sufficiently.
Thursday 4th November saw Prime Minister David Cameron say that intellectual property laws are to be reviewed to 'make them fit for the internet age'.
"The service they (Google) provide depends on taking a snapshot of all the content on the internet at any one time and they feel our copyright system is not as friendly to this sort of innovation as it is in the United States.
Over there, they have what are called 'fair-use' provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services.
So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America."Prime Minister David Cameron talking at investment event in the East End of London
Without a doubt a number of our copyright laws are not fit for now and were not fit for the electronic age that existed ten years ago, so reform is long overdue. As we currently stand, copying legally purchased MP3 files from your computer onto your music player can fall foul of the laws, and creating an MP4 version of your favourite DVD/Blu-ray is also not allowed. Of course there is no suggestion that sharing these files over the Internet will magically become legal, but all that many people want is the ability to fairly use material without breaking the law.
Hopefully the review will not simply be a six month investigation into the US market, but consider what happens around the world.