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[FYI] BBC News | UK | Video-taping faces blackout


UK Video-taping faces blackout

Recording television programmes on video could become
illegal under new EU copyright laws being drawn up in

Copying music from CDs to tape cassettes would also
be banned, and libraries and schools could not copy
works for education and teaching under the new

Plans to restrict the right of individuals to record
programmes and music for personal use were unveiled at
the launch of a new campaign for a "fair practice" clause
in the proposed EU Copyright Directive, currently being
deliberated by the European Parliament. 

The law is designed to tackle commercial piracy and
protect copyright holders. 

Most EU citizens pat tax on blank tapes 

Frank Harris, of the European Fair Practices in Copyright
Campaign, which is backed by other pressure groups,
said that although he supports laws to ensure copyright
protection, "Brussels must recognise that fair practices
in terms of access to copyrighted works is not
commercial piracy and causes no damage to copyright

He added: "Under the terms of the directive, converting
reading material into Braille or recording a television
programme to watch later both risk being condemned as
illegal. They could simply be banned." 

The hope is that Euro-MPs will insist on changes to
safeguard the interests of the blind and partially-sighted,
the deaf and partially-deaf, librarians, teachers and
consumers generally. 

Under current UK legislation, people are exempt from the
rules protecting copyright if they video programme at
home for their personal use. 

In most EU countries, however, consumers have to pay
a tax on blank tapes under copyright rules. The levy is
used to compensate copyright holders for the use of
their material. 

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