Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stronger IP rights coming your way

Two pieces of news exemplify that IP maximalism is alive and well, and that the copyfight has just begun (cue Imperial March). The first is a piece in The Times regarding the term extension of sound recordings. The article informs us that those poor struggling artists, Cliff Richard and The Rolling Stones, may suffer in the UK because sound recordings are only protected for 50 years, instead of the suggested 70. How will Sir Cliff survive? The article informs us that:

The singer, whose wealth is put at £40m by The Sunday Times Rich List book, has described copyright payments as a “pension” for musicians and said: “Every three months from the beginning of 2008, I will lose a song.”
My heart weeps for Cliff's loss.

The second piece of news is that the Council of the EU has released a document justifying the plans to produce a new Enforcement Directive. The directive plan proposes to impose and harmonise criminal sanctions for IP infringement. Although the plan is directed towards commercial pirates and counterfeiters, there is serious concern that this could translate into the criminalisation of everyday practices.

The EU better stay out of my iPod.

(Thanks to Jan for pointing out an error in the post)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Andres, from the EU law freak in your IT&IP class: Council of Europe has nothing to do with the European Union, it is an entirely different organisation. The proposal comes from the Council of the EU.

Jan

Andres Guadamuz said...

Oops! Thanks Jan! I should stop writing early in the morning.

JS Hatcher said...

Look for the newly-formed Open Rights Group(ORG) to lead the fight to bring some sensibility to the discussions on both of these items. Both items are being heavily discussed by ORG. In addition, an entire campaign against term extension is in the works.

ORG aims to be an EFF-like organisation fighting for digital rights in the UK.