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Britain's copyright laws, based on a 300-year-old statute, desperately need reshaping for the digital age

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Copyrights and wrongs reports:

This week, the iPod generation secured some support from a notable UK think tank, The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). In its report, the group argues that the UK's copyright laws are woefully inadequate for the digital age. The group takes aim in particular at one glaring anomaly: the fact that UK consumers cannot make personal copies of the media they purchase – thus,copying your CD collection onto your computer or iPod is a criminal act. It also recommended that DRM controls on digital media should be less stringent and that recorded music copyright should not be extended beyond the current 50 years.

See: IPPR, Public Innovation: Intellectual property in a digital age; also IPPR, Chancellor urged to decriminalise ipod users and Copyright laws 'need overhaul'. See also UK report: knowledge should be public good first, private right second: "The UK is awaiting the release of a report by the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, a task force charged with suggesting changes to the country's intellectual property laws."

Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers.

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