Record Labels, Internet
The National Consumer Council (NCC) has warned that ‘heavy-handed’ European Commission plans to enforce intellectual property rights on music and other creative content overstep the mark. Consumers, says the NCC, are being treated like organised criminal gangs (who, they accept, should be pursued). Consumers already face the prospect of legal action for sharing music files. The NCC report that in the UK sixty internet users have settled legal claims against them by the British Phonographic Industry, each paying up to £6,500 in compensation. The NCC has lobbied that any new laws must strike a balance between right holders’ interests in getting a fair return and the public and consumer interests of fair access and use, and the encouragement of innovation. NCC is concerned that new European IP laws are being planned before there has been a chance to assess the impact of the existing law. The existing (2004) Directive on the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights is barely a year old and is not yet implemented in the UK.
See: http://www.broadcastbuyer.tv/publish/article_5962.shtml and http://www.ncc.org.uk
and see the BPI’s (somewhat predictable) response at : http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=83860
Also see also the blog by David Berlind looking at the problems and unfairness of DRM software – why can’t David play his legally purchased music from i-Tunes on his home stereo? : http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=1952