A little noticed statutory instrument that came into force on 1 January, the snappily entitled "The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Amendment) Regulations 2010" - SI 2010/2694.
In it, the government has tacitly signalled its capitulation (after a battle lasting nearly 15 years) to the record industry - led by collecting society PPL - who have long maintained that sections 67 (playing sound recordings for clubs and societies) and 72 (free public showing or playing of broadcast) of the CDPA are inconsistent with the rights granted to sound recording producers and performers by the Rental Right Directive.
The effect of the SI is to repeal section 67 and to remove sound recordings from section 72 (which still applies to broadcasts and to the films incorporated in them). Because an earlier set of amendments had limited the impact of those sections to commercial users of sound recordings, the principal impact will be that the not-for profit sector - village halls, student nightclubs etc. Will PPL be the target of the next bunch of student demonstrations?
This decision should not be a surprise to anyone - the consultation took place back in 2008 and the Government response committed them to implementing the changes by April 2010.