Want to be a rebel and break the law in the United Kingdom? It’s easy. All you need is an iPod and a CD.
Step 1: Pop a CD into you computer.
Step 2: Import the songs into iTunes.
Step 3: Sync the songs onto your iPod.
Millions of people in the United Kingdom break the law everyday just by using their iPods. Why? The music industry in the UK claims that the illegal practice of coping music onto your iPod costs them hundreds of millions of pounds a year. Anyone else getting a 1998 Napster flashback here?
Apparently the UK music industry is about a decade out of sync with reality. In an effort to help the UK music industry get with the times, ministers in the UK are being urged to relax copyright laws to prevent music fans from facing prosecution for using their iPods. A UK think-tank called the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has recommended an overhaul of the legislation to allow a “private right to copy” music, and thus stop home users being treated the same as large-scale pirates.
Ian Kearns, deputy director of the IPPR, had this to say on the subject:
“Millions of Britons copy CDs on to their home computers, breaking copyright laws every day. British copyright law is out of date. When it comes to protecting the interests of copyright holders, the emphasis the music industry has put on tackling illegal distribution, and not prosecuting for personal copying, is right. But it is not the industry’s job to decide what rights consumers have. That is the job of Government.”
The dawn of the digital age of music was initially damaging to the music industry… but only because the industry failed to embrace the change consumers desired. As a result, people turned to illegal file-sharing sites such as Napster to find digital music. However, since the launch of the iTunes Music Store, digital music has proven to be a successful business model and the laws in the UK should be changed to better reflect current times.