Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sweeping Changes To UK Copyright On The Cards

Tomorrow is D-Day for the British rights industry as the Government is set to announce sweeping changes to the archaic rights regime that most Britons have had to live with in the digital era. For example, simply ripping a DVD to your phone is, technically, illegal, as is copying a DVD that you have bought to your iPad for watching on the train or on holiday.

Now, it seems individuals will be allowed to make copies of content they have bought and to adapt it for other devices.

Also behind this has been a mooted idea for a 'copyright exchange', although as Chairman of the company with the best software on the market to achieve this, I suspect that this is just an idea that's being run up the flagpole and has no substance or real work behind it - we've certainly not heard of any initiatives and we were part of a consortium that had funding for just such a project turned down for Government funding last year.

However, it is a good concept, and I have long argued that what the TV and film production industries need is the same kind of clearing houses that can be found in the music industry so that block deals and aggregated deals become easier to do.

Finally, spoofs (such as the banned 'Newport State of Mind') will become legal. Perhaps the UK Government does have a sense of humour after all...