After a public consultation and a thorough inspection of local copyright legislation, the UK Government decided to change current laws in favor of consumers. The changes have been in the planning stage for a few years, but this summer they will finally be implemented. Starting in July people are free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as it’s for personal use. To inform the public about these upcoming changes the Government has just released a consumer guide, summing up citizens’ new rights. “Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office writes. “The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

UK Govt: DVD and CD Ripping Will Be Legalized This Summer | TorrentFreak

Drivers to be banned from wearing Google Glass

The Department for Transport has acted before the invention goes on general sale amid fears that users could be distracted.

Google is expected to put the device, which is worn like a pair of glasses, on the market next year.

» via The Telegraph

Wanted: Royal librarian to look after the Queen’s 125,000 titles

It is a bookworm’s dream job: the Royal Collection is advertising for a librarian to look after the Queen’s 125,000 titles.

It is seeking “an exceptional scholar and bibliophile” to run the Royal Library at Windsor Castle for £53,000 per year. The library contains one of the world’s finest collections of Old Master Drawings, including the largest group of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.

It also has a unique collection comprising over 4,500 military maps and documents, spanning the four centuries from Agincourt to Waterloo.

» via The Telegraph

British spy agency said to tap world's phone calls, e-mails

Accusations of broad government surveillance have traveled across the pond. Britain’s intelligence agency has reportedly been collecting and storing vast amounts of data from the world’s telephone calls and Internet traffic — and sharing that information with the National Security Agency.

Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters secretly gained access to fiber-optic cables that carry the world’s communications, reports the Guardian. The GCHQ taps into huge amounts of data from these cables and stores it for up to 30 days to be looked over by analysts from GCHQ and the NSA.

The Guardian reported Friday that documents shown to them by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the secret operation, code-named Tempora. It gives the GCHQ and the NSA access to “recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user’s access to websites.”

» via CNET

ISPs to include porn filters as default in the UK by 2014

Parental filters for pornographic content will come as a default setting for all homes in the UK by the end of 2013, says David Cameron’s special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, Claire Perry MP.

Internet service providers (ISP) will be expected to provide filtering technology to new and existing customers with an emphasis on opting out, rather than opting in.

"[In the UK] we will have filters where if you do nothing, the parental filters will come pre-ticked," said Perry, speaking at a Westminster eForum on 14 June.

» via ars technica

Libraries to store all UK web content

Millions of tweets, Facebook status updates and even a blog about a bus shelter in the Shetlands are to be preserved for the nation.

The British Library and four other “legal deposit libraries’” have the right to collect and store everything that is published online in the UK.

It is estimated around a billion pages a year will be available for research.

It follows 10 years of planning and will also offer visitors access to material currently behind paywalls.

» via BBC

UK universities 'face online threat'

"Complacent" British universities that fail to respond to the rise of online universities will be swept away by global competition, says a report into the future of higher education.

Sir Michael Barber, chief education adviser for Pearson, says online courses will be a “threat and opportunity” for the UK’s universities.

This “avalanche” could see some middle-ranking universities closing, he says.

"There are too many universities doing the same thing," says Sir Michael.

» via BBC

Judge denies MPAA attempt to seize profits from copyright infringement

A high court in the United Kingdom has ruled that a copyright owner does not have the right to claim profits from copyright infringement.

"A copyright owner does not have a proprietary claim to the fruits of an infringement of copyright. I shall not, therefore, grant proprietary injunctions," wrote judge Guy Newey of the England and Wales High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, in a ruling published on Tuesday.

» via ars technica

Supersizing Literacy? U.K. McDonalds Swapping Happy Meal Toys for Books

If you head to McDonald’s in the U.K. you might hear an new question coming from behind the counter: Would you like a book with those fries? That’s right, move over cheap toys, pint sized British consumers of McDonald’s Happy Meals will now get a book instead. The fast food giant has partnered with publisher Dorling Kindersley and bookseller WH Smith and plans to distribute over 15 million books to kids over the next two years. The move makes McDonald’s the largest book distributor in the U.K.

Kids will get a combination of fiction and nonfiction texts, including texts on science and technology topics. And, along with the book that comes with the Happy Meal, kids will get a certificate they exchange for a book at their local WH Smith bookstore.

» via GOOD

Staff emails are not owned by firms, rules judge

A high court judge has ruled that companies do not have a general claim of ownership of the content contained in staff emails.

The decision creates a potential legal minefield for the terms of staff contracts and an administrative nightmare for IT teams running email servers, back up and storage.

The judge ruled businesses do not have an “enforceable proprietary claim” to staff email content unless that content can be considered to be confidential information belonging to a business, unless business copyright applies to the content, or unless the business has a contractual right of ownership over the content.

» via ComputerWorld