The UK looks set to get its own version of the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), following the publication of proposals to implement the EU Copyright Directive into UK Law.
A deadline of 31 October has been set for responses to the UK consultation document; under European law, the new rules have to be incorporated in law by 22 December.
Significant changes include new legal protection for digital watermarks, copy protection systems and other technological measures used to protect copyright material online. There are also new offences aimed at combating Internet piracy. But the most contentious part of the new rules is that which mirrors the DMCAs outlawing of devices intended to circumvent anti-copying technologies, including those used in DVDs.
Under Article 6 of the Directive, the UK and other member states of the EU have an obligation to provide legal protection from the circumvention of technological measures -- such as encryption -- designed to prevent the infringement of copyright. There is also an obligation under this article to provide protection from the manufacture and distribution of devices marketed as being primarily designed for, or offering only a limited commercially significant purpose other than, the infringement of copyrights.
The UK government says that such obligations will not be affected by responses to the discussion paper. "Respondents (should) bear in mind that this consultation is not about whether the requirements of the Directive itself are appropriate," the Patent Office said in an explanatory note. "The Directive has been agreed, is in force, and cannot be changed at this time."
News source: Yahoo News UK