Since my last post on copyright the debate has heated up. Currently Google, Yahoo, Ebay and Facebook have come together to oppose legislation, drafted in the Digital Economy Bill to increase the power to the secretary of state to change copyright law. The legislation aims to stop copyright infringements taking place something which is all too easy in our new digital world. However, the legislation that is causing this conflict is the ability given to closely monitor users on the internet in order to stop abusers of copyright from continuing to operate. Google and the other internet companies are concerned that this ability is open to abuse to monitor people’s data usage regardless of whether any illegal behaviour has taken place or not. Further details can be found at http://www.macworld.co.uk/digitallifestyle/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=27970 If this is the case, will we soon be looking into the wrong use of internet monitoring information like we currently are with the misuse of CCTV footage?
The Digital Economy Bill, as currently drafted, also poses a number of difficulties for libraries offering internet access to its users, because of the question of liability for copyright infringement.
In addition, the Intellectual Property Office have launched the second part of consultation regarding proposed changes to UK copyright legislation which will be of benefit particularly to educational and research institutions. For further details please see http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about/press/press-release/press-release-2009/press-release-20091211.htm
Our resident expert in all things copyright, Paul Pedley addresses this and other changes to copyright that effect information professionals in his suite of training courses running next year. An introduction to copyright gives a thorough grounding in update issues affecting the information professional and how to deal with them. The more advanced digital copyright builds on the initial course and goes into further depth on copyright issues; Web 2.0 for copyright specifically looks at how social media is affected by copyright legislation. Paul’s recent course on Digital Licensing covered discussions on how libraries are being affected by the new Digital Economy Bill and the concerns it is raising in addition to advice and tips on how to negotiate and re-negotiate licenses for copyright.