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Open Rights slams copyright

Open Rights slams copyright

The Intellectual Property Watch List looked at how well 16 country's laws balanced the interests of consumers and copyright holders. And it claims the UK ranked worst, above countries with major piracy problems such as China, India and South Korea.

Consumer Focus chief executive Ed Mayo says that UK copyright law has not been adapted to keep up with technological changes. The group calls for the Government to introduce a "fair use" law that can be changed with new technical developments, as in the US.

Mayo says, "UK copyright law is the oldest but also the most out of date - it's time our copyright law caught up with the real world. The current system puts unrealistic limits on our listening and viewing habits and is rapidly losing credibility among consumers. A broad fair use exception would bring us in line with consumer expectations, technology and the rest of the world."

It is technically a copyright violation in the UK to copy a CD on to a computer or MP3 player. But the survey says 55% of British consumers do so and 59% believe it is legal.

Open Rights Group executive director Jim Killock says, "It is ridiculous to ban copying, sampling and parody without payment, yet that is how the law stands today. The Government is undermining copyright's reputation by failing to give clear rights to users in a changed digital world, where we all rip, mix and burn."

The full survey and summary report can be found here: http://a2knetwork.org/watchlist

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