IPO publishes new changes to copyright law


The UK government has published regulations introducing new exceptions to copyright law, including private use and parody.

The new regulations, published yesterday, March 27, make several amendments to the country’s Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and will now be considered by Parliament.

The changes, initially due to be published in October last year, are designed to bring UK copyright law up to date for the digital age and stem from the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, an independent review of the entire UK IP system.

Amendments have been made to the laws in five specific areas, including quotations, parody and personal copies for private use.

Among the more significant exceptions published are a provision that caricature, parody and pastiche do not constitute copyright infringement.

“Fair dealing with a work for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche does not infringe copyright in the work,” the amendment said.

The exceptions also include updates on personal copies for private use, deeming that making a copy of a privately owned work, other than a computer program, should not constitute infringement.

According to the exceptions, the “individual’s own copy” is a copy “which has been lawfully acquired” on a permanent basis and is not infringing.

However, any personal copies must be destroyed if the individual transfers the work from which they were made to another person.

Furthermore, the exceptions add that rights in a performance or a recording will not be infringed by the use of a quotation provided that the quote has been made available to the public and is accompanied by sufficient acknowledgment.

Following publication, the government said it had “consulted extensively” on the changes and listened carefully to the views of a wide range of stakeholders.

 “The changes make small but important reforms to UK copyright law and aim to end the current situation where minor and reasonable acts of copying, which benefit consumers, society and the economy, are unlawful,” the Intellectual Property Office said in a statement.

“The legislation … strikes an important balance between enabling reasonable use of copyright material in the modern age with minimal impact on copyright owners,” the IPO added.

The regulations will now be debated in both houses of the UK Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

If approved, the new exceptions will come into force on June 1.

This article was first published on 28 March 2014 in World IP Review

UKIPO, copyright law, Hargreaves Review,

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