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First off today, the BBC is reporting that, in the UK, Ministers have launched a consultation on the possibility of extending the maximum prison sentence for criminal copyright infringement online from 2 to 10 years, bringing it up to par with the sentence for physical goods.
The proposed change is not aimed at downloaders or other end users of pirated content, but rather, at commercial enterprises that engage in massive amounts of piracy. In that regard, the provision is similar to criminal copyright laws in the United States, which only apply when dealing with large scale operations.
The proposal comes after various creative industries in the country began a push for the government to take stronger action against copyright infringement and just a few years after the government passed the Digital Economy Act, a controversial act that attempted to introduce site blocking other new protections into UK law.
Next up today, Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica reports that a UK High Court has ruled that a 2014 regulation that made it legal for consumers to make personal copies of DVDs, CDs and other media had not been enacted property and should be taken off the books.
The law was challenged by representatives for the music industry, which claimed that the law should have implemented a compensation scheme for creators whose work is duplicated. The court had filed the ruling last month but the law remained in effect pending a possible government appeal. However, the deadline for such an appeal has lapsed, causing it to be undone completely.
Enforcement of private copying in the UK is minimal at most. Few, if any, individuals are sued or otherwise prosecuted for making such copies, likely one of the reasons the government opted not to step in.
Finally today, the CBC is reporting that Toronto Mayor John Tory has had a tweet featuring a video of himself “grooving” to a Kanye West song removed due to a copyright infringement complaint.
Tory recently found himself the subject of public controversy and ridicule over the Pan American games, which are being held in the city. West was hired to perform at the closing ceremonies, which was controversial among may Canadians who wanted to see a Canadian act headline the event. Tory, however, admitted that he thought West was Canadian and posted the video as a mea culpa for his ignorance.
Twitter, however, has removed the tweet featuring the video though the video itself remains online as do old embeds of the tweet. Attempting to load the tweet itself simply results in a statement that the tweet has been “withheld” due to a report from the copyright holder.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.