DRM Clarification

Approximate time to read: 2 minutes

I posted yesterday about a recent story about DRM that I came across on the BBC News site. Unfortunately, I misread the main portion of it, hence why I’ve now removed the post. Instead of seeing that the government was planning on making copying CD’s legal, I somehow read it as “illegal”. Stupid me.

Never-the-less, there was a quote from the Association of Independent Music stating that once CDs are replaced, the law could be misused to “open the floodgates to unstoppable copying”, adding that it would like to see copyright holders compensated when music was copied.

Sam from the very same Association of Independent Music read my blog (yes people really do) and commented.

We’d like to see and are working towards a new commercial/legislative framework that allows music fans to freely and legally do what technology allows, while ensuring the creators are fairly reimbursed.  We’re not there yet, but will need to be very soon..  We aren’t advocating copyright holders are compensated when music is copied for personal use – ie from CD to computer.

Now if I’ve interpreted this correctly, they’re saying that you’ll be able to copy CD’s to your PC without an issue. The BBC quote from AIM shows they want compensation when music is copied, yet Sam is saying this is not the case. Is the BBC mis-quoting or have I missed something? Sam does specifically say they’re not after compensation when music is copied for personal use, so maybe he’s talking about compensation under different circumstances? Surely if you’re copying for non-personal use, then this is already covered under legislation (either licensing or the fact, in the case of copying for other people, it’s illegal). So where does the reimbursement come in (unless it’s to get money from those who have been caught illegally copying music)?

Sam, if you’re reading this, please comment and clarify this a little further for me!

One thing in the BBC article that does worry me is “owners would not be allowed to sell or give away their original discs once they had made a copy.” I wonder how this would be policed? I’m assuming they mean this would only be the case if you retained the copy – surely making a copy would not then mean that under no circumstances could you sell the original?

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