Following on from our article below about the potential extension of the copyright term in the UK, [Boing Boing]( has an entry today about a report by The Institute for Public Policy Research proposing more amendments to UK copyright law.

Interestingly, the Boing Boing article quotes one of the Report’s authors, Kay Withers, as saying: “The idea of all-rights reserved doesn’t make sense for the digital era.”

As well as the proposed copyright term extension, the Report also discusses possible new exceptions to allow “format shifting” ie the transferring of songs from CDs to iPods – an amendment that is also being proposed in Australia as part of the huge [Copyright Amendment Bill 2006](

The Bill was tabled by Attorney General Phillip Ruddock on 19 October, and is currently the subject of an extremely short [inquiry]( by the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. The Bill contains some new exceptions designed to assist consumers, like the format shifting amendment, but overall is a massive win for copyright owners.

Here’s some commentary on the proposed amendments by [Brian Fitzgerald]( and [Kim Weatherall]( The Electronic Frontiers Foundation also has [information]( up about the Bill, and an [Action Page]( on users can get their concerns about the Bill heard.

The most concerning amendments proposed by the Bill include:

* an extension of Australia’s Technological Protection Measure provisions, which significantly broadens the rights of copyright owners to control how people can use legitimately bought products;
* a whole swathe of new criminal offences, which will significantly lower the bar for criminal prosection for copyright infringement in Australia, increasing the chances of people being held criminally liable for actions they undertake in their own home; and
* changes to Australia’s exception for fair dealings for the purpose of research and study which replaces the current flexible exception with a strict quantitative test, taking away rights Australian researchers and students have always enjoyed without any explanation or justification.