The British government is taking copyright reform on with a new digital exchange for licenses of copyright works to be bought and sold. The British copyright law system is a 300 years old, and was due for reform. Their big idea: a Digital Copyright Exchange. They're also looking for the long-sought after balance between protecting creative content, intellectual property and the freedom to use copyright in a digital world that calls everything about the old copyright regime into question.
"By freeing up the intellectual property copyright system ... we help consumers, we help business and we help the pursuit of knowledge. But at the same time we do it in a proportionate and balanced way that protects genuine creative artists," Business Secretary Vince Cable said at a news conference.
The new copyright laws are based on the Hargreaves Report on intellectal property, and go as far as allowing the ripping of CDs and DVDs to the extent that the British government will go out of its way to make sure this is allowed to happen. Check out what CNET UK said:
"The report addresses the laughably outdated law that frowns on copying legally bought CDs and DVDs to your computer. Not only will ripping music and movies be made entirely legal, but the government says it will block attempts to limit your ability to do so, such as companies charging extra for devices that can be used to copy things."
We've seen our own spate of copyright infringement news and copyright lawsuits here in the U.S lately, and even patent infringement with the Spotify lawsuit for patent infringement. Turntable.FM just secured rights from ASCAP and BMI, but still has no formal agreement with the recording labels on copyright issues. The famous Jammie Thomas copyright infringement lawsuit was appealled many times until Jammie had her fines lowered to $54,000.