Consumers given more copyright freedom
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20 December 2012 - Department
for Business, Innovation and Skills
Changes to create greater freedom to use copyright works such as
computer games, paintings, photographs, films, books, and music, while
protecting the interests of authors and right owners, were announced
today by Business Secretary Vince Cable. These form part of the
Government’s response to creating a modern, robust and flexible
New measures include provisions to allow copying of works for
individuals’ own personal use, parody and for the purposes of
quotation. They allow people to use copyright works for a variety of
valuable purposes without permission from the copyright owners. They
will also bring up to date existing exceptions for education, research
and the preservation of materials.
The Government has consulted extensively on these proposals, through
the process of the Hargreaves Review, a formal consultation and
numerous discussions with stakeholders and industry representatives. It
has considered all responses very carefully, which have helped develop
and refine the proposals including the balance between exceptions and
licensing, before finalising these measures.
Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:
“Making the intellectual property framework fit for the 21st century is
not only common sense but good business sense. Bringing the law into
line with ordinary people’s reasonable expectations will boost respect
for copyright, on which our creative industries rely.
“We feel we have struck the right balance between improving the way
consumers benefit from copyright works they have legitimately paid for,
boosting business opportunities and protecting the rights of creators.”
In his review of intellectual property and growth, Professor Hargreaves
made the case for the UK making greater use of these exceptions, which
are allowed under EU law. In response to a consultation earlier this
year, the Government will make changes to:
- Private copying - to permit people to copy digital content
they have bought onto any medium or device that they own, but strictly
for their own personal use such as transferring their music collection
or eBooks to their tablet, phone or to a private cloud;
- Education - to simplify copyright licensing for the
education sector and make it easier for teachers to use copyright
materials on interactive whiteboards and similar technology in
classrooms and provide access to copyright works over secure networks
to support the growing demand for distance learning handouts for
- Quotation and news reporting - to create a more general
permission for quotation of copyright works for any purpose, as long as
the use of a particular quotation is “fair dealing” and its source is
- Parody, caricature and pastiche - to allow limited copying
on a fair dealing basis which would allow genuine parody, but prohibit
copying disguised as parody;
- Research and private study - to allow sound recordings,
films and broadcasts to be copied for non-commercial research and
private study purposes without permission from the copyright holder.
This includes both user copying and library copying;
- Data analytics for non-commercial research - to allow
non-commercial researchers to use computers to study published research
results and other data without copyright law interfering;
- Access for people with disabilities - to allow people with
disabilities the right to obtain copyright works in accessible formats
where a suitable one is not already on the market;
- Archiving and preservation - to allow museums, galleries,
libraries and archives to preserve any type of copyright work that is
in their permanent collection which cannot readily be replaced; and
- Public administration - to widen existing exceptions to
enable more public bodies to share proactively third party information
online, which would reflect the existing position in relation to the
use of paper copies.
These changes could contribute at least £500m to the UK
economy over 10 years, and perhaps much more from reduced costs,
increased competition and by making copyright works more valuable.
In addition the Government will introduce a new, non-statutory system
for clarifying areas where there is confusion or misunderstanding on
the scope and application of copyright law. Copyright notices will
issued by the Intellectual Property Office. These notices are intended
to clarify, but not make new law.
1. These changes form part of the Government’s response to the
Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth, commissioned by the Prime Minister
and published in May 2011. Professor Ian Hargreaves concluded that “The
UK’s current system is falling behind what is needed, especially in the
area of copyright” and recommended that the UK needed “an approach to
exceptions to copyright which encourages successful new digital
technology businesses both within and beyond the creative industries”.
2. The Intellectual Property Office is within the Department for
Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the
national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents,
designs, trade marks and copyright.
3. Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation
and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes
strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the
4. It operates in a national and an international environment and its
work is governed by national and international law, including various
international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which
the United Kingdom is a party.
5. For further information, please contact Veena Mapara:
020 7215 5614.
6. For emergency media calls out-of-hours please contact the duty press
officer at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on +44
(0) 20 7215 3505.
7. The government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong,
sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the
country and between industries'. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan
for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
* To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
* To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a
* To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced
* To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in
Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions,
including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth
Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this
work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more
clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the
economy to travel.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-12-21 09:02:07 in Legal Articles