Copyright Law – personal backup of video games

The existing UK copyright law recognised that computer and video games were easily succeptable to damage, be it from magnetic or electrical damage, or young children scratching disks rendering them useless. As such, according to Section 50(A) of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, legal purchasers of computer games are explicitly permitted to make a backup copy of their purchase.

However, the corporate giants such as Sony are perfectly happy for you to go and spend another £40 on a replacement game that your child has just rendered useless by scratching the disk, so they ensure that their video games consoles cannot simply play backup disks. Their protection methods also prevent the software piracy that would in fairness be rife if they werent in place.

These protection methods prevent the consumers legal right to take a personal backup copy, but in order to exercise your rights, you could modify the games console that you have purchased and own to counteract any protection methods put in place by the manufacturers, therefore allowing you once again to make a personal backup copy of your purchased games.

The Copyright And Rights Regulations act (hereafter referred to as the CRRA) was introduced around 2003 and was a series of amendments to the UK’s copyright laws. The section of the law allowing consumers to make a personal backup copy has NOT been changed by the CRRA. You are still entitled by UK law to make a backup copy of any piece of software you buy legally. Where things start to get interesting, though, is in Section 296Z of the new law. Section 296 makes it an offence to do anything at all which is designed to circumvent any piece of copyright protection technology put in place by the manufacturers or distributors of any copyrighted work. In short what it means is that if a disc has some form of anti-copy protection, it is a criminal offence to either circumvent that protection yourself, or to give anyone else any device or piece of information which will enable them to do so. In other words, if you exercise your legally-enshrined right to make a backup of your legally-purchased game, you are automatically and necessarily breaking the law, with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

The revision to the law is contradictory and a restriction in consumer rights, making a criminal out of a parent who is just fed up of having to put games in the bin sometimes just days old, because their young childen have scratched the game disk rendering it useless.

Why is this idea important?

The existing UK copyright law recognised that computer and video games were easily succeptable to damage, be it from magnetic or electrical damage, or young children scratching disks rendering them useless. As such, according to Section 50(A) of the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, legal purchasers of computer games are explicitly permitted to make a backup copy of their purchase.

However, the corporate giants such as Sony are perfectly happy for you to go and spend another £40 on a replacement game that your child has just rendered useless by scratching the disk, so they ensure that their video games consoles cannot simply play backup disks. Their protection methods also prevent the software piracy that would in fairness be rife if they werent in place.

These protection methods prevent the consumers legal right to take a personal backup copy, but in order to exercise your rights, you could modify the games console that you have purchased and own to counteract any protection methods put in place by the manufacturers, therefore allowing you once again to make a personal backup copy of your purchased games.

The Copyright And Rights Regulations act (hereafter referred to as the CRRA) was introduced around 2003 and was a series of amendments to the UK’s copyright laws. The section of the law allowing consumers to make a personal backup copy has NOT been changed by the CRRA. You are still entitled by UK law to make a backup copy of any piece of software you buy legally. Where things start to get interesting, though, is in Section 296Z of the new law. Section 296 makes it an offence to do anything at all which is designed to circumvent any piece of copyright protection technology put in place by the manufacturers or distributors of any copyrighted work. In short what it means is that if a disc has some form of anti-copy protection, it is a criminal offence to either circumvent that protection yourself, or to give anyone else any device or piece of information which will enable them to do so. In other words, if you exercise your legally-enshrined right to make a backup of your legally-purchased game, you are automatically and necessarily breaking the law, with a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment.

The revision to the law is contradictory and a restriction in consumer rights, making a criminal out of a parent who is just fed up of having to put games in the bin sometimes just days old, because their young childen have scratched the game disk rendering it useless.

End IR35 immediately

IR35 was introduced to stop tax evasion and raise £300 million.  It did neither and just made it much more difficult for small business owners.  Many independent contractors have been caught up in expensive measures to demonstrate that they are not nor have any intention to be employees of the companies to whom they supply services.  They do not receive any of the benefits of being employees (holidays, sickness, benefits, pensions, training, expenses, etc,).

In addition, many badly worded confusing, often contradictory and regularly changed "questions" were put into PAYE and personal tax returns. 

Simply repeal IR35 and all references to service companies.  By all means make sure everyone pays the correct amount of tax, but  end this failed law.

Why is this idea important?

IR35 was introduced to stop tax evasion and raise £300 million.  It did neither and just made it much more difficult for small business owners.  Many independent contractors have been caught up in expensive measures to demonstrate that they are not nor have any intention to be employees of the companies to whom they supply services.  They do not receive any of the benefits of being employees (holidays, sickness, benefits, pensions, training, expenses, etc,).

In addition, many badly worded confusing, often contradictory and regularly changed "questions" were put into PAYE and personal tax returns. 

Simply repeal IR35 and all references to service companies.  By all means make sure everyone pays the correct amount of tax, but  end this failed law.

Reducing the burdens on businesses

The Government is committed to ending the culture of ‘tick-box’ regulation, and instead target inspections on high-risk organisations.

Which inspections are the most burdensome for your business – including the preparation time you feel you need for these, or when complying with regulations?

Why is this idea important?

The Government is committed to ending the culture of ‘tick-box’ regulation, and instead target inspections on high-risk organisations.

Which inspections are the most burdensome for your business – including the preparation time you feel you need for these, or when complying with regulations?

Eliminating the disadvantages of EU rules

The Government is committed to ending the so-called ‘gold-plating’ of EU rules.

Do you have examples of how your business has been disadvantaged when competing for business in Europe, because of differences in the way EU rules are implemented in the UK compared to other countries?

Why is this idea important?

The Government is committed to ending the so-called ‘gold-plating’ of EU rules.

Do you have examples of how your business has been disadvantaged when competing for business in Europe, because of differences in the way EU rules are implemented in the UK compared to other countries?