[Rumori] UK implements the EUCD

Connie McCue cmandjk at mindspring.com
Wed Nov 5 17:52:30 PST 2003

Just received this depressing news...

EU Copyright Directive Takes Effect in United Kingdom
UK Outlaws File-Sharing and Circumvention Devices

The United Kingdom has become the sixth European nation to implement the 
controversial European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) into national law.

The UK's Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No. 2498) 
amended the UK Copyright Designs and Patents Act of 1988 to provide greater 
rights to copyright holders.  The new went into effect on October 31, 2003 
and included many substantial changes to UK copyright law.

The regulations create a broad new right to make copyrighted works 
available to the public that criminalizes P2P file-sharing of music.  Under 
the new law, a British citizen can now get two years in prison for swapping 
music over the Internet.

Similar to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the new UK law 
outlawed devices and information that can assist in bypassing technological 
restrictions such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) schemes.  The UK ban 
is so broad that it jeopardizes cryptographic research because it outlaws 
all commercial uses of technical information including its possession and 

"Its disheartening to see yet another national legislature being forced to 
change its domestic laws and imprison its citizens for file-sharing of 
music or for publishing certain technical information," said Robin Gross, 
Executive Director of IP Justice, an international civil liberties 
organization that promotes more balanced copyright laws.

The new UK copyright law also creates new powers for copyright holders to 
obtain injunctions against Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for the 
allegedly infringing acts of their customers or others.

UK Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No. 2498):

UK Copyright Office on EUCD Implementation:

Information on legal bans against circumvention in Europe and the US:

Circumvention Prohibitions Reconsidered: Why America's Mistake is Europe's 
By Robin D. Gross, Esq.

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