Here is an article i just read which may be of intrest to us in the uk.....looks like we have something to keep our eye on after all......The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) is waiting until the new European Union copyright directive is implemented before it decides whether to take legal action against UK peer-to-peer (P2P) users.
The BPI has no current plans to follow the actions of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sue individuals who download music from P2P sites, saying that it prefers to educate people rather than take a heavy handed approach.
But it has warned that the legal route has not been ruled out.
A BPI spokesman told vnunet.com that, although it felt able to issue legal proceedings against file sharers under current law, it preferred to wait until the directive is enforced so that copyright laws are clarified.* * * *
The directive came into force in June 2001 and is expected to be implemented sometime in October.* *
It follows heavy lobbying by the film, TV and recording industries, which are concerned about the effect of digital technologies on their ability to profit from intellectual property rights.* *
"Our position from the outset has been to educate and inform. But there is one misconception that needs clearing up," a BPI spokesman said.* *
"People have this perception of P2P users as poor students, but there are some people who download seriously large amounts of files.* *
"While it is not our intention to sue it is not something we would rule out once the directive is enforced. The heavy users are the ones we would go after."* *
Ellis Rich, chief executive of the Independent Music Group, is against the idea of suing individual P2P users because, he argues, piracy and downloading music from these sites are not the same thing.* * *
If the industry made online music buying easier the problem could be solved, he said. He said record companies need to realise what they own is the copyright, not the manufacturing rights.* * *
"I hope the BPI doesn't start legal actions against P2P users. People don't mind paying, but it's about access," he explained.* * *
"The industry could easily put every recording ever made online and it would be much better for everyone if the industry just dealt with it."