Questions on Copyright Law for Digital Media.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by halfacandan, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Basically, I've heard lots of rumours and snippets of British and American Law rulings on copyright issues to do with digital media and I'd really appreciate some clarification on what is and is not permissible under current British law. I've tried to find out on my own but I can't find many sources written in layman's language.

    1. I always believed that I was allowed to own a back up of anything which I “own”, be it CDs, Videos, DVDs or video games. Is this correct? If it is correct, then why are there anti-copy features on DVDs and CDs etc?

    2. Why is (or was?) recording from TV & Radio “tolerated”? Is it legal? Am I allowed to possess Videos/CDs/MP3s that I have recorded from live broadcasts? Am I allowed to possess these articles if another party prepared them for me?

    3. I recently heard that it is illegal to rip tracks from CDs that I “own” to my MP3 player. Is this currently in effect in the UK or have I confused it with an American law/upcoming law?

    4. Where do I stand on these issues if I bought the CD/DVD second had? Is the license transferable?

    5. If I possess the original tracks, can I legally possess non-commercially released bootleg music (where 2 or more tracks are mixed together)? The example I'd use to illustrate this is DJ Dangermouse's Grey Album (The Beatles' White Album mixed with Jay-Z's Black Album).

    While I realise that, even if some of these activities are criminal offences, I'd never get into trouble because of them, I like to keep on the right side of the law and would really appreciate some DEFFINITIVE answers rather than conjecture.

    Thanks
    Dan
     
  2. Miyazaki

    Miyazaki
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    If copyright infringement was as illegal as the RIAA, MPAA, BPI et. al say it is, then why do the biggest backers of anti-piracy measures, sony, produce recordable media, and dvd/cd burner drives?

    If it was so illegal, there would be a letter in the post from the courts everytime you recorded eastenders or top of the pops off the tv mate. I would honestly not worry about it.
     
  3. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    I'm not worried about it...just interested. It's just one of those things that is niggling me.
     
  4. krish

    krish
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    this is probably:offtopic:....
    ....but I've been somewhat amused by the legal threats against The Pirate Bay and their responses (don't know if posting their url is against the rules - google if you don't know the site, its a BitTorrent tracker)
     
  5. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    I thought that the American film org had just managed to shut down a huge tracker for bittorrent or edonkey or something. Surely a torrent search site is also fair game.

    Dan
     
  6. overkill

    overkill
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    It is not illegal to make one back up of software. However, it is illegal to make multiple copies, and the law recently changed so that if you have a copy but no longer the original, you are liable to be charged with being a pirate.

    It is also illegal to break copy protection systems. If you are found to have copies of 'copyright protected' software you again, are liable to prosecution. This issue can therefore overcome the legality of the first one discussed. However, due to the problems with copyright software which often causes incorrect play or quality degradation this one is becoming increasingly contentious.

    If you buy software second hand, the licence is not transferred - according to what the licence of the manufacturer states. Some say 'this is not transferrable' in the blurb'. However, like the whole copyright thing, this is a total pile of steaming. If they were to enforce this the 2nd hand market would collapse, as would new sales, as many people these days just transfer everything to their PC and flog the disc, or complete the game etc and sell it straight on.

    They know this, and they also know to do so would actively encourage piracy, as people who buy 2nd hand would still not buy the software new, and turn to the Black market instead.

    Many feel that the current laws, driven by the greedy software producers, is hitting the honest (or 90% honest ;) ) rather than the big CD pirates.

    Also, if they were making huge losses, rather than disgustingingly large profits, I'd have more sympathy.
     
  7. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    You are allowed to make, I believe, a single recording of a TV Show/Programme/whatever. However, if you make one and send it to someone else, that is completely different and is illegal. Likewise, if someone else recorded a program and gave you the copy, they are breaking the law.

    This would be the same as all the people who download TV shows - the original person has broken the law by distributing, the people downloading the show are guilty of copying copyright material.

    I had the whole thing somewhere outlining the law exactly, but can't find it at the mo.
     
  8. LV426

    LV426
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    1: The "right" to make a backup copy relates to software (in the context of a computer program). It does not extend to music nor video. There are no circumstances in which it is strictly legal to make a copy of copyright music or video. None at all. You don't own the material. You own the media and a licence to use the material in a particular way (i.e. to watch or listen to it).

    2: If the TV or radio broadcast contains copyright material then (1) applies.

    3: Is the same as (1). The act of making a copy for whatever purpose is the act that is illegal.

    4: Still illegal

    5: Posession isn't illegal.
     
  9. mickrick

    mickrick
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    It actually applies to ALL digital media, ie anything that is readable by a computer in digital format. That includes CD's, DVD's, floppy and hard disks, magnetic tape.

    At the minute, the question of digital copyright and backups is subject by HM Gvt to open consultation for one year (and this is expected to drag on for much longer). During this time, I believe that no action can be taken against anyone for making a backup of digital media in their possession.
     
  10. Seth Gecko

    Seth Gecko
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    Unless a) you are circumventing a method of copy protection e.g DVD's or b) the licensing for the product specifically forbids you to duplicate it e.g. certain computer software specifically states you cannot make a duplicate.
     
  11. LV426

    LV426
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    "All rights of the owners of the recorded work reserved. Unauthorised public performance, broadcasting and copying of this recording prohibited."
     
  12. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    Well, that answers all my niggles. I had just bought about 100CDs and ripped them to my PC in the hope that this was "less illegal" than downloading illegal MP3s however, I can see that it is not. I guess the fact that I've also got some of the tracks on my MP3 player makes it even worse.

    I presume that current laws lead to the majority of the population being "criminals" so I must question what the point of them is. If they are trying to deter pirates or have laws in place which criminalise their actions surely there are better ways of closing off any loopholes without limiting "reasonable use". I'm personally appauled at the impracticalities of the law. I don't want to buy the same tune 3 times over for my PC, MP3 player & CD player!

    I had always believed that the law was there to judge intent yet it seems like the legislation is merely an outdated piece of dogma. However, I suppose that the final decission rests upon a judge and/or jury so it is likely that the pirates will be the ones who are punished. Hooray!
     
  13. halfacandan

    halfacandan
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    At last! Some sense in UK Law

    Dan
     
  14. williemaykit

    williemaykit
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    I thought question 2 was legal under timeshifting laws (particularly the Copyright and Related Rights Regulation) introduced around the time of video recorders?
     
  15. abraxus

    abraxus
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    My understanding is this

    Technically it has been illegal to do this although the music industry has taken the view that it's ok to transfer music to mp3 players etc, although fully legal.

    For Videos, DVD's and games it is illegal to make copies. Whils there may be some softening with regards to fair or reasonable use, it is and probably still will be illegal to break the encryption

    It's tolerated in order to allow you watch a progarmme that you might have missed. Within the law you can record the programme to watch a later date but are then expected to delete it. It is not legal to keep an archived copy nor to give or receive copies to or from someone else.

    Currently it is technically true in the UK although the music companies have said that they have no issue with this and will not be pursuing it. I suspect that the law just hasn't caught up yet.

    You still can't copy it. I don't don't know about the licence.

    Again I don't know, but I suspect technically not.

    The law has been pretty grey in all these areas in that many things we do daily without a second thought are technically illegal, as such no-one bothers to try and prosecute them.
     
  16. Steve.J.Davies

    Steve.J.Davies
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    Fortunately encryption is not a copy protection mechanism, it is a privacy mechanism.
    I can prove it. here is an encrypted message

    abrf iefy grpo wnvu mklaa brfj qrpj


    Try copying that with a cut and paste...
     
  17. abraxus

    abraxus
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    Oops, I meant copy protection:(
     
  18. meansizzler

    meansizzler
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    Still leaves it in a gray area when it comes to DRM or DVD's /HD discs that feature copy protection..

    "The right to copy will not be accompanied by a right to circumvent DRM systems, possibly contravening the EU Copyright Directive which says that DRM should not prevent access to legally permitted operations."



    DRM should not prevent access to legally permitted operations


    Didn't they just contradict themselves, since copying of the media for personal usage is now/about to be legalised?

    Guess someone is in trouble!!!, and I don't think it's the consumer....:D, does that mean the publishers will have to remove the copy protection from their media eg.. BD/HD-DVD otherwise it won't be allowed to be sold in the UK?
     

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