The UK government has abandoned its plan to establish a copyright-based national firewall that media executives could use to block websites to which they objected. The proposal for a UK Great Firewall was part of the Digital Economy Act, but the expert reviews conducted by Professor Ian Hargreaves and the regulator Ofcom both advised against it. UK Business Secretary Vince Cable has, therefore, nixed the idea, which means that entertainment companies will actually have to win court injunctions ordering ISPs to block sites -- still scary, but at least there's some due process there.
Meanwhile Cable has also announced that the government will include a parody copyright exemption in our fair dealing laws (until now, it's been illegal to reproduce copyrighted works for parodical purpose), a relaxing of the rules on format-shifting, and a rights clearninghouse to make it easier to license works for lawful use. A rare moment of common sense in UK copyright policy!
UK Government Abandons File-Sharing Website Blocking Plans
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits.
In 2014, Britain strode boldly into the late 20th century, finally legalising “private copying” — ripping CDs, taping LPs, recording TV shows, backing up your ebooks and games — but now it’s thought better of the move.
After years of missteps, blunders and disasters in which Youtube users have been censored through spurious copyright claims or had their accounts deleted altogether, Google has announced an amazing, user-friendly new initiative though which it will fund the legal defense of Youtube creators who are censored by bad-faith copyright infringement claims.
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