The majority of British consumers are unsure about copyright law in the UK and believe that it needs updating, according to a report published today by Consumer Focus.
A survey of 2,026 people found that 73 per cent are 'never quite sure what is legal and illegal under current copyright law', while 61 per cent believe that the advent of digital technologies makes it 'impossible to enforce copyright'.
A whopping 80 per cent said that UK copyright law needs updating to meet the issues posed by digital technologies.
Jill Johnstone, international director of Consumer Focus, suggested that the Time to Change the Tune report (PDF) shows that the credibility of UK copyright law had "fallen through the floor", and urged the government to address the situation.
"The world has moved on and reform of copyright law is inevitable, but it is not going to update itself. If the government wants consumers to respect copyright law they have to stop sitting on their hands and bring the law in line with the real world," she said.
The figures will make interesting reading for the government, which is under severe pressure over its proposed amendment to copyright law under Section 17 of the Digital Economy Bill.
As part of the Bill, Lord Mandelson had hoped to amend the statutory instrument under which copyright law is changed to remove the necessity of any proposed amendments being scrutinised in the House of Lords.
Mandelson said in December that the amendment had been included to reflect the changing nature of the digital market, and that "such a power should not and will not be used lightly".
However, many of his fellow peers objected to this proposal. Lords Razzall, Clement-Jones, Whitty and Lucas all voiced their opposition, while others tabled amendments to the Bill to try and ensure that any changes are subject to 60 days of scrutiny.
Google, Yahoo, Facebook and eBay also underlined their objections to the clause by signing an open letter to the government.
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