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Hollywood against Media Backup

Written by Thomas Mould on 13 May 2015

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A few months ago the UK Government legalised the copying of MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use, as that would be in the 'best interest of consumers’. 

A common sense decision for many, but leaked emails now show that Hollywood was fiercely against the change.

To most consumers in the 21st century it’s common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this was illegal until late last year.

Unsurprisingly, not all copyright holders were in favour of the legal changes. Emails published from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack reveal that Hollywood wanted to stop the plans by urging UK Prime Minister David Cameron to keep Hollywood’s interests in mind.

Hollywood’s stance is that copying for private use should remain illegal if there are legal options available. 

“A private copy exception must not apply in the event there are commercially available services that achieve the same need,” a representative of Sony stated.

Examples such as UltraViolet show that there is no market failure in the UK, and that private copying exceptions aren’t needed, in Hollywood’s view.

Despite the lobbying efforts, the protests of the MPAA and Sony Pictures were not successful. After a brief delay the private copying exceptions eventually became law in October.

Despite Hollywood’s reservations, this innovation is a common sense decision for the mixed media lifestyle that we now live in and copyright law should reflect this lifestyle for the benefit of consumers.

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