The British Parliament signaled today that it intends to legalize the copying of CDs and DVDs onto digital devices for personal use. The new law will not allow people to share content over the Internet without permission of the copyright holder.
The move will update Britain’s 300-year-old copyright laws, making them comparable to laws adopted in other European nations.
The change was recommended by a government-requested report, carried out by a professor of digital economy at he Cardiff School of Journalism.
The report also recommended the creation of a central digital copyright exchange where rights could be bought and sold, but the government has not signaled its intention to act on that recommendation.
Some 90 law professors have signed a joint letter opposing the Protect IP Act which is intended to deal with copyright infringement. The Act is currently being reviewed by Congress.
The letter contends that the Act’s domain-blocking provisions can be viewed as Internet censorship, which is barred by the First Amendment.
“The Act would allow courts to order any Internet service to stop recognizing [a] site even on a temporary restraining order… issued the same day the complaint is filed” without allowing for an adversary proceeding, which has been required by the Supreme Court.
Moreover, blocking an entire domain when infringing material exists in a subdomain is equivalent to “burning the house to roast the pig.”