As the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, announced that Britain’s intellectual property laws will be reviewed in order to “make them fit for the Internet age”, to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner’s permission, one cannot help but agree that a review is long overdue. The advent of the Internet has changed the way we live and it is inevitable that some of the rules that used to govern issues such as these need to be reviewed in order to make them more suitable to the current climate.
A friend recently gave an example that is arguably relevant to this matter. Before what is now known as the ‘Internet age’, stealing property from someone meant that the thief would be in possession of the stolen object while the owner is deprived of it. However, the same logic does not necessarily apply when it comes to electronic materials on the world wide web. This is because for example, an digital materials such as music, photos and videos that are copied from an Internet source with or without the owner’s written permission does not deprive the owner of it’s use. In actual fact, the owner still has the original in his or her possession and so does the ‘accused’. While not condoning unlawful possession and use of copyrighted materials, it becomes obvious that some of the existing laws that were created before the advent of the Internet should reviewed in order to be more relevant in today’s society.
Although, some form of resistance to this review is expected from those in the music and film industries who have always campaigned against copyright reform. It is hoped that eventually common sense will prevail.
Would you like to see current copyright laws relaxed or are you satisfied with existing rules in your country?