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UK Reviewing Copyright Laws

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the take-another-look dept.

United Kingdom 179

Uebergeek writes "It looks like the UK is going to be reviewing its copyright laws. Prime Minister David Cameron specifically cites the US's Fair Use doctrine as something they wish to incorporate into their own laws... apparently they wish to 'encourage the sort of creative innovation that occurs in America.' One can only assume that they've been missing the continual assault on the Fair Use doctrine here in the States."

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Great (1)

volcan0 (1775818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159286)

Best news of the day !

Re:Great (4, Interesting)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159480)

kudos to the first country to adapt a voluntary collective licensing system as a tax.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_Collective_Licensing [wikipedia.org]

20 bucks a year per capita = no more damn bs

Anything over 7 years ... (2, Insightful)

Greymoon (834879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160244)

.. is theft of culture.

Re:Great (3, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159500)

Don't hold your breath. He's a Conservative. Note that everything he said was to make things better for business. It's unlikely to end up a positive thing for the people.

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159518)

Being better for business isn't necessarily the opposite of being better for the people.

Being better for an outmoded and artificially supported business model certainly is bad for the people, mind you.

Re:Great (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160294)

Name one "business model" that isn't artificially supported by laws?

Re:Great (3, Interesting)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159598)

Don't hold your breath. He's a Conservative. Note that everything he said was to make things better for business. It's unlikely to end up a positive thing for the people.

Um, unless you want to live as a hunter-gatherer, you kinda need business. Now, BIG BUSINESS, ie the multi-national corporations, need curtailing. Those guys are unscrupulous.
In Victorian England it was the mill-owners that opened the schools and hospitals and provided cheap housing for their workers, because it was ultimately beneficial to the business. Similarly, loosening the noose on copyright isn't so much to help the man in the street, it's to help the entrepreneur in the street make money, any benefit to the hobbyist is just trickle-down. But it's all good.

Re:Great (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159926)

"In Victorian England it was the mill-owners that opened the schools and hospitals and provided cheap housing for their workers"

You do realise they -charged- for this...? and made a profit on it.

Re:Great (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159732)

Damn those hobgoblins and robots and the businesses they run! Always taking things away from people!

I believe in the elimination of the lie of an artist's right to control their work. I believe that once an artist has been compensated, his work should be free for anyone wishing to derive from it. I believe that "anyone" should not be dependent on why the derivation is desired.

Re:Great (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159856)

The main aims here are likely to be closing down any loopholes that might currently exist in common law to allow copying in circumstances they don't want, rather than to introduce legitimate reasons for copying that the people do - that or it's just to give schools and governmental organisations a way of avoiding ever more stringent prosecution of copying (i.e. they're just making sure the government doesn't stand to get sued, at which point they'll green light the labels to go on a sue frenzy). I just can't get worked up about this kind of news any more, it almost always ends up being implemented in such a way as to make things worse for regular people.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

The Mgt (221650) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159858)

It's unlikely to end up a positive thing for the people.

Indeed. If you read down this [guardian.co.uk] a bit you'll notice that they also want US style software patents. Idiots.

Re:Great (1)

crunchyeyeball (1308993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159868)

True, but the Conservative party didn't form the government themselves.

They had to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, which was was the only party to vote against the Digital Economy Bill to strengthen copyright enforcement.

Re:Great (2, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160032)

There are Liberal Democrats before the election, and there are Liberal Democrats now. In opposition, they were a noble party, standing up for peoples rights. Now, not only are they going along with Tory policy, their ministers are implementing Tory policy. There is virtually nothing left of the noble ideals of before.

The instant change is a wonderful demonstration of how power (and the hunger for it) corrupts.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160082)

The Lib Dems manifesto included a number of things diametrically opposed to the Tories - e.g. tuition fees in universities. Don't expect much help from their quarter.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159880)

I think the main problem though is big corporations vs small startups rather than business vs the people. We need the small startups to create the jobs that will get us out of the recession and I hope he realises that.

Hmmm.... (4, Insightful)

Count Fenring (669457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159294)

One can only assume that they've been missing the continual assault on the Fair Use doctrine here in the States.

Well, I guess that they might see the value in the law as written, even if that doesn't tend to be how the law plays out.

Re:Hmmm.... (4, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159310)

Yeah, they might even enshrine fair use as a right.. rather than merely as a "defense" to a civil lawsuit as it is in the US.

Only in Israel, maybe (5, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159654)

After a little research, it seems to me that Israel is the first (and only) nation in the world where "fair use" is possibly a "right" [ericgoldman.org] (see the section titled ' New User "Rights" ').

This is since Sept. 2009. My impression is that the decision has been appealed but hasn't been heard yet. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama's administration wouldn't have a few (unofficial) things to say to the Israeli government when the appeal comes up in the Israeli courts.

that's not necessary (3, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159956)

Enshrining it as a right kind of suggests that the copyright holder has more of a right to the content than they actually have. In fact, the copyright holder is granted a temporary monopoly, not because of any intrinsic "rights" (he doesn't have any to the content), but to benefit society. So, you don't need fair use as a "right", you already have all the rights anyway. Fair use is an exemption to a temporary monopoly.

Re:that's not necessary (3, Informative)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160104)

Copyright is technically temporary, but far as the holder is concerned, it may as well be forever. IIRC it's currently life + 99 years in most countries.

Fair use follows from free press (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160384)

they might even enshrine fair use as a right.. rather than merely as a "defense"

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld serial extension of the copyright term in Eldred v. Ashcroft, the opinion of the Court included a section strongly implying that were it not for the fair use defense, copyright would violate the First Amendment. This suggests at least that freedom of the press implies fair use.

Re:Hmmm.... (4, Funny)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159360)

I suppose they can copy the US laws verbatim.

That will qualify as at least one fair use of the 'Fair use' laws.

Re:Hmmm.... (0, Redundant)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159432)

I suppose they can copy the US laws verbatim.

Even though US laws are inherited largely from UK laws that won't work. If only for the different government/legal structures.

That will qualify as at least one fair use of the 'Fair use' laws.

Isn't the text of laws in the public domain already? If so there is no "fair use" needed. Any use is fair use (except probably claiming you're the author when you aren't).

Re:Hmmm.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159750)

Whooosh

Better idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159332)

Copy Canadian laws instead of American ones.

Re:Better idea (2, Interesting)

transfatfree (1920462) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159380)

I'd second that. Though aspects of Canada's laws are 'slightly' outdated. For example the tariff on cd's - i seldom use cd's for much other than burning a copy of a linux distro.

Canada's on the right track though.

Now, if they put the tariff on ipods/mp3 players/media enabled phones it might work better with the times. People wont appreciate the cost though.

Re:Better idea (2, Interesting)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159416)

No perhaps they won't like it, but at least the extra cost might offset the additional expenses associated with police investigations of auto accidents caused by drivers using such devices while they are behind the wheel.

Re:Better idea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159738)

No perhaps they won't like it, but at least the extra cost might offset the additional expenses associated with police investigations of auto accidents caused by drivers using such devices while they are behind the wheel.

Now, I don't know who gets the tariffs in Canada but I suspect that the tariffs don't go to law enforcement. In my country, Finland, there's a similar system and the money goes to the organizations that "protect the rights of artists" and lobby for legislation that I probably don't even need to explain...

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159384)

Never happen. The UK looks up to America, but down on Canada.

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159388)

The UK looks down on America too. As they should. As they should.

Re:Better idea (2, Funny)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159932)

Actually we look sideways at it.

Re:Better idea (1)

Kireas (1784888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160160)

Really? I always look diagonally.

Re:Better idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160164)

The UK wishes it were Canada....

Re:Better idea (0, Redundant)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159472)

In the spirit of the American's 1st amendment, let's have *no law*.

Deferred optimism (3, Insightful)

FalconZero (607567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159336)

While I wholeheartedly welcome the opportunity to improve some of the frankly stupid laws floating around at the moment, the pessimist in me wonders how this will be twisted by lobbying into some ridiculous new round of laws. I'm going to wait six months before I celebrate this.

yes! (4, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159348)

Finally, UK TV might dump all those brain-dead quiz shows where people "know things" and that David Attaboy or whatever and his animal sex preoccupation and move towards more proper explosion-based documentaries like we have in the US.

And the news? Good grief - I watched UK news and the whole time it was just people talking about facts and things. There wasn't a SINGLE ARGUMENT or fight during the entire show. What the hell kind of news reporting is that?

Perhaps (2, Funny)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159426)

As an avid fan of David's shows on conservations, perhaps instead we can deport Glen Beck to insure that citizens of the UK really are brain dead and thus unable to challenge our technological superiority.

Re:Perhaps (5, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159478)

...we can deport Glen Beck...

I don't believe they'll accept our toxic waste..

Re:Perhaps (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159622)

Just start a donation drive to dispose of him in space. I'm in! :P

Re:Perhaps (2, Interesting)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160018)

"we can deport Glen Beck"

More likely he'll come voluntarily.. Your master (Murdoch) is just about to be allowed to takeover our biggest almost independent satellite channel and turn it into the UK's version of Faux News.

Re:yes! (0, Redundant)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159438)

And the news? Good grief - I watched UK news and the whole time it was just people talking about facts and things. There wasn't a SINGLE ARGUMENT or fight during the entire show. What the hell kind of news reporting is that?

Personally I am quite happy when news outlets do their best to separate facts and opinions. Arguments/debates do not belong in a news broadcast, unless the debate itself is the news.

Re:yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159458)

Do you really not see the sarcasm in his post? Really?

Re:yes! (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159794)

Sigh. The British sense of humour is so dry sometimes... ;-)

Re:yes! (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159554)

Maybe FoxNews can franchise in the UK. Then the Brits would get to hear their news commentators introduce stories with lines like, "Whoa, get a look at this!"

I just puked in my own mouth.

Can you imagine Walter Cronkite beginning a news item with, "Get a look at this!" He was a good journalist and, I hate to say this, but it is actually a merciful thing that he passed away somewhat recently.

Re:yes! (5, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159588)

You realize that Murdoch, who owns News Corporation and Fox News, controls most of Britain's media, including Sky Television, The Times [of London], The Sun, and News of the World. If you want to vomit, look at some of Murdoch's holdings outside the US.

Re:yes! (2, Interesting)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159604)

Maybe tabloids, so wildly popular in the UK, could franchise in the US. National Enquirer quality journalism combined with bad puns in every single headline = win.

Re:yes! (1)

19061969 (939279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159800)

And don't forget the tits on page 3.

Re:yes! (2, Funny)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160066)

Nah, the Americans will never accept the idea of the Page 3 girl. Hell, I wouldn't be too surprised if at least one state attempted to outlaw breast feeding because it involved showing breasts to very young children.

Re:yes! (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160396)

Some states already have outlawed breast feeding in public areas.

Re:yes! (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159888)

We already have Sky News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Re:yes! (1)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160158)

However, Sky news and Fox news, are completely different. At least Sky News aims to be better than the BBC, and has good reporting, though they tend to focus on "Breaking News"

Re:yes! (4, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159570)

I think you might be overestimating the quality of TV in the UK. The most popular shows are of the same brain-dead kind like in the US, reality shows, soaps, cooking shows and sports. The most watched shows these days are roughly in order: BBC: Eastenders (dumb soap), Strictly Come Dancing (celebrities dancing), The Aprentice, Master Chef, Match of the Day (Soccer). ITV: X Factor and Coronation Street (dumb soap), with X Factor far and away the leader with about 13 mil. viewers. How's that for people who know things? Yes there are some quality shows, mostly on BBC (which doesn't have to worry about paying bills), but not many people watch them.

Re:yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159720)

Just to clarify that, most of the BBCs TV output is also crap, it just also makes some very good programmes. Unfortunately the future of the BBC is looking uncertain, it's being increasingly squeezed by government, plus Murdoch wants it neutered and might eventually get his way.

Re:yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160108)

The next week after the election, Rupert Murdoch paid a visit to the newly-elected PM, allegedly sneaking in to Downing Street via the back door. That's about as clear a statement about Cameron's priorities as you're going to get - only 3 or 4 days after they'd just defeated an incumbent government of 13 years, he's taking secret meetings with the media kingpin who put him there.

As for this story: I've not ready any of the details but I'll bet my bollocks to a barn dance we'll all be worse off from it. So they're reviewing copyright law, no doubt at the behest of those powerful enough to bend the necessary ears, and when Joe Blow asks them *why* they're reviewing it, we're getting the standard bullshit line about how this is going to be better for everyone. They'll make one or two bullshit inconsequential rules to finally legalise people ripping their CDs to put on their iPods with one hand, then do something dark and drastic like extend corporate copyright ownership with the other.

Re:yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159966)

But that's not the point.... You guys HAVE quality TV, even if nobody watches it. C4 and BBC documentaries make me drool with jealousy. I wish we got even half of what you guys get over here.

Re:yes! (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160096)

The most popular shows are of the same brain-dead kind like in the US, reality shows, soaps, cooking shows and sports.

Culture is our number one export. Not saying it's a good thing, but it is our biggest export.

Re:yes! (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159886)

You obviously didn't watch Newsnight on BBC 2 when Jeremy Paxman is on. Though he is pretty tame compared to most American presenters.

Re:yes! (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160154)

move towards more proper explosion-based documentaries like we have in the US.

What, you mean like this [bbc.co.uk] ?

Starts good end bad. (3, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159440)

Starts good end bad. The pessimist in me is that due to "compromise" with "industry leader" a tad tiny bit of fair use will be added, but in addition heavy fine , prison stay will be added for copyright infrigement, and maybe even copyright lengthened a bit.

Re:Starts good end bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159706)

The copyright length in Europe is longer then in the US.

Rather similar Fair Dealing doctrine already there (3, Informative)

D4C5CE (578304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159460)

Re:Rather similar Fair Dealing doctrine already th (3, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159660)

Fair dealing isn't really similar. It's limited to a very specific set of situations that mean that most people are not able to take advantage of it. As an example, parody is not considered fair dealing.

Re:Rather similar Fair Dealing doctrine already th (2, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160090)

A friend of mine who studied law said that parody can come under the "ctriticism" exception and there was legal precedent to this effect. I suspect that this is somewhat more limited an exception than in the US though. It is certainly the case that British publishers and producers will usually clear it with the copyright holder but this could just be playing safe.

Re:Rather similar Fair Dealing doctrine already th (1)

RDW (41497) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160304)

'It's limited to a very specific set of situations that mean that most people are not able to take advantage of it.'

Indeed. Simply ripping a CD you own won't generally be for 'research and private study, criticism, review, and news reporting' so it's actually not legal, though a majority of the UK population think it is:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7176538.stm [bbc.co.uk]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8000876.stm [bbc.co.uk]

ACTA Sweetner Anyone (5, Interesting)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159464)

ACTA Sweetner(TM) guaranteed no calories and no teeth.

Cameron says, "So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age." However, he fails to mention that they are already "reviewing" the UK copyright laws under the veil of ACTA and in secret. This is just a bit of fluff to remove some heat from what is already a done deal.

Re:ACTA Sweetner Anyone (4, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159674)

However, he fails to mention that they are already "reviewing" the UK copyright laws under the veil of ACTA and in secret.

As far as I can tell from all the available information, the UK government has not actively participated in the ACTA negotiations to date. Also, note ACTA is an enforcement agreement, and doesn't really touch basic definitions of what constitutes an IP infringement, which is what they're talking about here.

Re:ACTA Sweetner Anyone (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160046)

"ACTA is an enforcement agreement, and doesn't really touch basic definitions of what constitutes an IP infringement,"

Indeed; ACTA is a worldwide censorship mechanism; the rich and powerful will later on decide what to censor.

When you abbreviate as "IP", God kills a kitten (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160400)

Also, note ACTA is an enforcement agreement, and doesn't really touch basic definitions of what constitutes an IP infringement

Of course it isn't an agreement on infringement of rights in IPv4 addresses. Managing address space on the Internet is not the job of countries' copyright offices. Please don't say "IP" when you mean copyright [pineight.com] .

Copyright cuts both ways (4, Insightful)

j-b0y (449975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159526)

While we desperately need some sanity injected into the system after the Digital Britain Bill, I suspect this is going to really favour big-media's use of our copyrighted work.

"He said the law could be relaxed to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner's permission."

There must be plenty of companies drooling at the idea of smash and grab raids on flickr accounts and GPL'd software.

MOD PARENT UP (2, Interesting)

cyclomedia (882859) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159894)

While we're here thinking how good this is that we will be able to post reviews of films,games and music on our blogs and not get takedown notices. But what this really means is that shitty british TV that does no original thinking (the news channels just report what they read on twitter) will just compile youtube videos and such without having to pay or ackowledge anyone. Which in a nice rounded world of share-alike licenses may seem all groovy, until you realize they're surrounded by adverts and on subscription channels. Heck, they'll probably even advertise it as a kind of internet summary show so that you don't have to go to the effort, risk viruses or bumping into paedos, etc. And the dumbass british public will probably lap it up.

Also if the law becomes "using less than one minute of footage" from any source but your hilarious slapstick youtube video is only 59 seconds long they'll be able to lift the whole thing. Again, in the world off CC this might not be too bad, but woe betide you if you accidentally use 1:01 of a clip from a commercial movie in your review because the law is clear and you'll go to jail. Of course if a big media company slips up in the same way they'll only get a letter from OfCom about it.

this is just Google doing evil (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159536)

Google have been lobbying Cameron for certain legal rights to help their business model, and Cameron will incorporate their request in a new draconian copyright proposal which will hinder other business models (and freedom in general).

Cameron? (3, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159548)

Why would Cameron, a deeply conservative aristocrat, care one bit about what the riff-raff can do with his supporter's "intellectual property"? The British have caught the plague that began on my side of the Atlantic: kleptocrats compose a huge part of government, and they've been on a crusade against egalitarianism since the 1980s. Everything done by conservatives in power is aimed at enriching the already rich and reducing everyone else to desperate peasants. They yearn for a return to the Gilded Age or worse [nytimes.com] . If a conservative creates policy that benefits the people at large, he's done it by accident. Academic rationales and appeals to the public, however erudite or reasonable they might appear, are just meaningless words put together by consultants who specialize in creating talking points that promote a particular narrative among a particular audience. These statements are tools with a particular purpose, not sincere attempts to explain the genesis of an action and demonstrate its worth.

Knowing this, you must consider every action taken by a conservative through the lens of their ultimate goal. If Cameron says he wants to revise copyright law to foster creativity, don't take him at his word. Ask yourself, "In what way will these modifications enrich powerful backers? What loopholes exist? What narrative is the government trying to push? What does it prepare the population to accept? How can the change under consideration be used to hurt the opposition? Where are the lies? Where is the selective truth?"

Finally, consider the most important question of all: "Will the net effect of this action be to enrich the wealthy?" The answer will invariably be "yes".

Re:Cameron? (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159624)

Everything you say is true, but remember to put the blame where lies the control: with the voter who does not abstain, and with the worker who does not strike. To kill the beast, you must stop feeding it.

Re:Cameron? (1)

Aaron Denney (123626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159736)

Okay, I can see the mechanism for striking workers starving the beast. Voters not voting just seems to be throwing away what little input and control they have.

Re:Cameron? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159898)

Considering we have a government elected by back-room dealings rather than by majority vote, I'm not at all sure about the "input" you talk about (not to mention the people who have voted LibDem for years being pretty much betrayed by a party greedy for some power throwing away their ideals in a coalition with a diametrically opposed party). When a few percent of people refuse to vote, I agree it just looks like they're lazy or apathetic, but GP is right, if the entire country refused to vote, we could force some real change in the way the country is managed - even governments are intelligent enough to spot a threat to their existence.

Re:Cameron? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160116)

Midterm elections often have less than 30% turnout in some states, and that's out of the people who even bothered to register to vote. If everyone else refused to vote, the 5% fringe group who went to vote anyway would have all the power.

Re:Cameron? (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160120)

Considering we have a government elected by back-room dealings rather than by majority vote,

I haven't checked any figures, but don't we have a more representative government than we've had for a long time?

With the FPTP system Labour had a majority in Parliament with only a small proportion of votes (~30%, IIRC).

Re:Cameron? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159786)

How do you distinguish a voter who abstains in protest from a voter who is happy with the status quo?

There is the option of voting for one of the silly parties. Britain does have The Monster Raving Loony Party, as a genuine political party that nobody would ever vote for except in protest.

Re:Cameron? (2, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160356)

Unfortunately, people who want to protest, now vote the BNP....... who apart from their racist agendas, also have "insightful" policies like 50% VAT, Compulsory Military/Cadet Service(*) and tax hikes.

Wonder how many of those who vote BNP because of Johnny Foreigner, realise the other policies of the BNP which WOULD hurt them a lot more in real terms.

(*) I myself HAVE done Cadet training, and have done my bit for the country, despite being an ethnic minority, it REALLY annoys me when I see BNP supports talk about how minorities have done nothing for their country, yet, if asked to send THEIR children to cadets, they balk. I think I have done more for the country than some of these clowns.

Re:Cameron? (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159768)

> Why would Cameron, a deeply conservative aristocrat, care one bit about what the riff-raff can do with his supporter's "intellectual property"?

I guess the obvious answer is that even "riff-raff" get a vote !

Re:Cameron? (2, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159838)

Since when does policy affect voting?

Re:Cameron? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159904)

The usual practice by both parties is to screw the electorate for 4 years, then spend 6 months making unsustainable tax cuts and vage, underliverable promises for the future to try and say, hey you know we're bad, but we're still not as bad as the other guys - better the devil you know and all that. The really depressing thing is not even that the parties engage in this sort of behaviour, but that it largely seems to work.

Re:Cameron? (2, Interesting)

crunchyeyeball (1308993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159846)

Bear in mind that Cameron's party (Conservatives) didn't form the government. They are in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, and EVERY Lib-Dem MP voted against the Digital Economy Bill which strengthened copyright enforcement.

Re:Cameron? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159942)

I'm not sure how much difference that makes, considering it was a manifesto promise of the Liberal Democrats to scrap first-degree university tuition fees, and instead they're now part of a coalition that is tripling said fees. It doesn't even seem to matter that the grass roots members of the party are still opposed to tuition fees - the handful at the top seem more intent on having their little bit of power and going against their major promises. I can't see why their stance on copyright shouldn't similarly alter (particularly since, for most people in the party, this is a lesser issue anyway and one they might be more willing to give ground on to win concessions elsewhere).

Re:Cameron? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34159876)

You're wrong on most what you say.
First of all, the decline of lower wages in western world has little to do with politics and a lot with growth of emerging economies.The world as large is better off, and almost surely western countries are better off too, but the low wage workers in western countries are losing much of theyr purchasing power. The only way out is to stop trading, but it's a cure worse than the disease.
Second, conservativer in the '80s basically saved the country from bancrupcy and permanent recession.It's been tough for many people, but they would be much worse off now if this didn't happen.
Also, while you might be right on the intentions and final outcome, don't forget that the main lobbyst for the media industry in the UK, Mandelson, sits on the other side.
Last thing: I'm Italian, and we'v been ruled by kleptocrats for ages, so your claim for a patent is invalidated by prior art ;).There's a very funny interview with Alberto Alesina (an italian professor of economics at Harvard) that states that after decades in the US he suddenly feels like at home about politics (and of course doesn't like it at all).Too bad I lost the link, and was in Italian anyway.

Re:Cameron? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159892)

I don't believe for a minute that the music industry is much of a concern to Mr C, I would think his friends are the city types, not the music moguls.

Not to say they don't have some influence, but I don't believe the media lobby has anywhere near the power in the Uk that it does in the US.

Re:Cameron? (1)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159970)

The British have caught the plague that began on my side of the Atlantic: kleptocrats compose a huge part of government, and they've been on a crusade against egalitarianism since the 1980s

Caught? Britain has worked that way for centuries.

Mod me down, I don't care (3, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159648)

But based on everything I've read online, including here on slashdot, US copyright law is the most absurd in the world. As far as I can see there is basically no fair use if you live within the United States of America. Even if US law allows it I would hazard to guess that many people are unwilling and reluctant to apply "fair use". The litigious nature of your corporations and government almost ensure that most sane persons will err on the side of caution, and maybe not publish anything at all in fear of being sued. How the fuck does fear encourage innovation?

Re:Mod me down, I don't care (3, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159820)

The problem is that, in America, Fair Use is a defense against a civil lawsuit, not a right enshrined in their Constitution. That means that you need to prove fair use in a court which is filled with lawyers on annual bankrolls higher than many people will see in their lifetime, against laws which have been paid for through campaign contributions by the very same people who fund the lawyers.

It's very much one-sided.

Fair use does come from the US Constitution (3, Informative)

jjo (62046) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160348)

Fair Use is, in fact, a product of the US Constitution. There are two separate and somewhat conflicting constitutional provisions in play here:

  1. The guarantee of free Speech in the First Amendment
  2. The power of Congress to grant limited copyright monopolies

Fair Use is a doctrine developed by judges in the 19th century to help resolve the conflict between these two provisions. It was later codified in the 20th century, but with the intent of preserving the existing judge-made law.

Rights enshrined in the Constitution do not enforce themselves. Some constitutional rights are so well-established that they seem to enforce themselves, but in marginal cases these rights must be asserted in court. In a noted recent case, a group called Citizens United was prohibited from speaking about a presidential candidate during the election, because of the source of some of its funding. Political speech is at the very core of the First Amendment, but the question was a close one, and could only be established by asserting it in court.

The fact that Fair Use must often be defended in court comes from the fact-intensive nature of the doctrine, making it difficult to decide a priori whether Fair Use applies or not. This uncertainty, combined with the American Rule for paying legal fees (each party pays his own lawyers), skews the playing field in favor of the big copyright holders. This is true even though Fair Use is, at bottom, a Constituional right.

Re:Mod me down, I don't care (0, Flamebait)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159988)

And this is different... where exactly? Believe it or not, US copyright is liberal compared to Europe. The US refused to implement provisions of the Berne convention until the 1970's because they imposed too many restrictions. Eventually, the US gave in because it had to.

The UK in particular is extremely litigious in areas of speech and copyright. In Germany, lawyers can even just send you bills when they believe that you're misusing a trademark or offering a copyrighted work, with legal recourse being essentially impossible.

And who do you think are these "corporations" anyway? Many of the publishers trying to make US copyright law more restrictive are European. They like to go policy shopping, and they know that they have to make things happen in the US.

Don't blame the US for a mess that Europe created.

Re:Mod me down, I don't care (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160274)

hahaha.
you base your understanding of copyright on slashdot?
talk about biased bullshit.

It's a start. (1, Offtopic)

Aaron Denney (123626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159740)

How about also fixing the insane libel laws as well?

Re:It's a start. (0, Offtopic)

Aaron Denney (123626) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159994)

Offtopic? Seriously? I thought the connection was clear: they're both laws that are used to impede the flow of information.

I wrote to David Cameron (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 3 years ago | (#34159924)

On the subject of copyright some time ago, opposing extension of copyright, and was not impressed by the response.

Whilst he didn't reply personally, his office trotted out the tired old BSA/FAST/RIAA line of breach of copyright being theft, sponsoring terrorism etc,

So for this reason I will be highly surprised if he has had some sort of "road to Damascus" type conversion

Re:I wrote to David Cameron (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160192)

On the subject of copyright some time ago, opposing extension of copyright, and was not impressed by the response.

Whilst he didn't reply personally, his office trotted out the tired old BSA/FAST/RIAA line of breach of copyright being theft, sponsoring terrorism etc,

So for this reason I will be highly surprised if he has had some sort of "road to Damascus" type conversion

I suspect this is one of the policies that the Lib/Dems wanted as a condition for taking part in the coalition. It's important enough that the people who care about it will be glad of it (assuming it does improve the situation, which is always a big 'if' in politics), and yet a vague enough issue for the general public that it won't cost the Conservatives a thing in the next election.

I could be dead wrong about this; I don't follow British politics very closely. But I've been waiting to see some typically Lib/Dem policies come down the pipe for a while now. Any coalition agreement involves the weaker party eating a lot of shit in exchange for a few choice policy wins. Given the number of items of principle the Lib/Dems have had to compromise on, this might be something that Cameron just has to deliver to survive another year.

Up to their usual form (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160112)

Remember, these are the same conservatives (read idiots) who thought public health care would be better if modeled on the American system and if only the railroads were privately owned like in the US the same excellent results might be achieved.

There is just one tiny problem. The UK is not the US. It takes a certain type of person to be an American and the average brit doesn't have what it takes.

Take for instance the love for the BBC. State funded TV? No American would be able to stand even the thought of it, let alone watch it. London and its traffic regulation? Laws AGAINST cars? What is this, California? If so, then were is the sun?

But hey, you didn't want labour, so you went back to the conservatives, the guys you were so sick of you though Blair was a breath of fresh air. Amusing thing politics. Watch the sheep run back and forth between butchers to find the one who culls them the least.

Not so sceptical (1)

rabbitfood (586031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160152)

"apparently they wish to 'encourage the sort of creative innovation that occurs in America.' One can only assume that they've been missing the continual assault on the Fair Use doctrine here in the States."

The two aren't mutually exclusive and, in the UK, revisions to our laws would help address a pernicious problem. It goes without saying that the US has, partly as a result of such nebulous doctrines, the most creative legal industry on the planet; one which contributes significantly to the overall economy. In the UK, where the economy is so fragile that even lawyers with parliamentary incomes are feeling the squeeze, borrowing such innovations makes perfect and practical sense.

The UK has always had "fair use" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34160208)

http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/copyright/p09_fair_use

Geography messed up? (1)

spammeister (586331) | more than 3 years ago | (#34160262)

Maybe he meant to say Canadian fair-use policy?

I know I certainly get confused sometimes as to what's in Great Britain compared to the United Kingdom, so it's understandable if he gets the US and Canada mixed up.
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