More lawsuits

I wonder why the US (and especially UK’s) government doesn’t modify its Fair Use laws to be more clear and more current, so we don’t have all these lawsuits from RIAA and MPAA against services, companies and people.

I hate it when MPAA does not allow people to rip their own DVDs. Why the hell would I want to buy the SAME movie 3 times in order to play it back on my DVD player, my PMP and my PSP?

And why is Universal suing MySpace for including some music video clips on their web pages? I mean, look back, in 1980. When the first video clip was created for MTV, it was created for exactly that: promotional reasons. They would beg you to playback their video clips! Back then video clips –while copyrighted– were not used as a way to own a song. It was used as promotion of the actual song. Today, RIAA is shooting their own foot by not allowing sites carry these videos on their pages.

And what’s the deal with RIAA asking $750 for each song pirated when the actual song’s value is below a dollar?

But most of all, I hate region-locking. God, I hate this so much.

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Eugenia wrote on November 18th, 2006 at 2:46 AM PST:

My blog post was mostly about general laws, rather than just UK’s. I mentioned UK just because it doesn’t really have a strong Fair Use law, and this is a bit disconcerning.

memson wrote on November 18th, 2006 at 12:30 PM PST:

If the RIAA or MPAA had any juristriction in the UK, that might make sense ;-)

Dunno about films but the MCPS and PRS deal with music.

The problem with the UK is that, under our copyright laws, making any copy of a tape, CD, DVD or whatever is technically a civil offence (as opposed to criminal.) The police are powerless to stop you unless the organisations who deal with copyright theft press charges. That is *why* it ends up as a lawsuit.

Thom Holwerda wrote on November 19th, 2006 at 9:05 AM PST:

In The Netherlands, you are allowed to make an unlimited amount of copies for personal use. You are only in trouble when you distribute those copies. The copying itself is not a problem.

Luis wrote on November 19th, 2006 at 10:49 AM PST:

In Spain you can also make a copy for personal use. But the SGAE (the society that manages author’s rights) managed to impose a fee on every blank CD that’s sold here as a compensation for copying their music. This is obviously an abuse. I have to keep paying them every time I buy blank CD’s while I just use them for Free software or to back up my docs, pics, emails, etc… I couldn’t care less about copying their music, yet almost half of my money for CD’s goes to them. This is like stealing, and then they wonder why people hate them so much…

memson wrote on November 20th, 2006 at 2:59 AM PST:

> My blog post was mostly about general laws,

Eugenia, different countries have different laws. You try to generalize way too much. Even English speaking countries have laws so different as to make their legal systems incompatible. There is no “general law”. It doesn’t exist.

> I mentioned UK just because it doesn’t really have a
> strong Fair Use law, and this is a bit disconcerning.

INAL, but this is how things stand AFAIA:

The UK doesn’t have a “Fair use” law at all. It is a civil offence to copy music or video for personal use so long as no money changes hands. It is a criminal offence to sell pirated/bootleg material.

To make it clearer – a civil offence is still something that can wind you up in court and possibly end up in incarceration or a hefty fine. But it is not something the police deal with directly. A civil case is brought between two parties, one of which files a claim/suit against the other. The police only act as agents of the ruling in this case – they’ll only arrest you if there is a court order. If I understand the law correctly: I could walk up to a police officer and show then my CD-R of a popular chart band – tell them I don’t own the original and they really can’t do much about it.

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