Government plans to modernise UK copyright laws
The Government has outlined plans to modernise UK copyright laws to encourage business growth and development.
It has now begun a public consultation on its proposed measures which are based on recommendations in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth.
The proposals include:
- Creating an exception to allow limited acts of private copying - for example making it legal to copy a CD to an MP3 player. This move will bring copyright law into line with modern technology and the reasonable expectations of consumers.
- Widening the exception for non-commercial research to allow data mining, enabling researchers to achieve new medical and scientific advances from existing research. Currently researchers cannot use some new computer techniques to read data from journal articles which they have already paid to access without specific permission from the copyright owners of each article.
- Introducing an exception for parody and pastiche, to give comedians and other people the creative freedom to parody someone else’s work without seeking permission from the copyright holder.
- Establishing licensing and clearance procedures for ‘orphan works’ (material with unknown copyright owners). This would open up a range of works that are currently locked away in libraries and museums and unavailable for consumer or research purposes.
- Introducing provision for voluntary extended collective licensing schemes, which would make it simpler to get permission to use copyrighted works and help ensure rights owners are paid. These schemes would allow authorised collecting societies to license on behalf of all rights holders in a sector (except for those who choose to opt out).
- Modernising other exceptions to copyright including those for education, quotation, and people with disabilities.