Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gower Report

No time right now but this is the summary of the recommendations for making copyright work in the digital age:

To ensure the correct balance in IP rights the review recommends:

ensuring the IP system only proscribes genuinely illegitimate activity. The Review recommends introducing a strictly limited 'private copying' exception to enable consumers to format-shift content they purchase for personal use. For example to legally transfer music from CD to their MP3 player;

enabling access to content for libraries and education establishments - to ensure that the UK's cultural heritage can be adequately stored for preservation and accessed for learning. The Review recommends clarifying exceptions to copyright to make them fit for the digital age;

recommending that the European Commission does not change the status quo and retains the 50 year term of copyright protection for sound recordings and related performers' rights.

On the other hand a stiff approach to IP crime, including sentences up to 10 years for music & film piracy.

Something for everyone then. In principle it mostly looks like damn sensible stuff. Lessig has already pulled out the most rallying-cry quote:

"Policy makers should adopt the principle that the term and scope of protection for IP rights should not be altered retrospectively."

Let the battle commence!

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