Copyright laws stiffle innovation and are unfair say leading consumer and professional bodies
The copyright law in the UK is "outdated" and parts of it "ludicrous" a group of consumer and professional organisations has said.
They called on the Government to implement changes suggested by last year's Hargreaves report "without delay" following a survey by Consumers International which revealed that the country "continues to significantly lag behind other developed nations on copyright issues".
Only Jordan and Argentina had worse copyright laws according to the IP Watchlist 2012.
Now Consumer Focus, The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), the Open Rights Group, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), have said the UK should take advantage of its ability to update copyright exceptions under European law.
Mike O'Connor, chief executive of Consumer Focus, said: "Our copyright regime, especially on exceptions, is outdated and is both unfair for consumers and hinders economic growth.
"It is ludicrous that it is illegal for people to put CDs they have paid for onto laptops or MP3 players or to back-up their digital purchases."
According to the survey, which looked at how copyright laws in 30 countries balance the interests of copyright owners with those of consumers, the UK was ranked third from the bottom.
Overall Consumers International gave the UK a C- rating, only Jordan and Argentina fared worse. Israel was ranked highest followed by Indonesia, India, New Zealand and the USA. In 2009 the UK was placed last and was third bottom in both 2010 and 2011.
Besides it still being illegal for consumers to make copies of media they own, the organisations also pointed out that lack of an exception for parodies stifles expression. Outdated copyright exceptions also impact on cultural institutions. They highlighted that the UK law also stifles the ability for libraries and other cultural organisations to run.
Jim Killock, chief executive of the Open Rights Group said "Parodies are legitimate ways" for people to engage with each other and John Dolan, of CILIP Council argued it was " ridiculous" that audio and video cannot be copied by libraries and researchers in the same way that print materials can.
As Tim Padfield, of LACA pointed out this restriction meant that many films, sound recordings and photos had "already been lost because it was not permitted to copy them".
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