Magazine article Screen International

Creative Industries Wary of New Government Copyright Reform

Magazine article Screen International

Creative Industries Wary of New Government Copyright Reform

Article excerpt

Business secretary Vince Cable has today announced new measures to make it easier for people to legally use copyrighted material; UK execs are wary.

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced changes to create greater freedom to use copyright works.

New measures include provisions to allow copying of works for individuals' own personal use, parody and for the purposes of quotation.

In response to a consultation earlier this year, the changes will be in the following areas:

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 students;

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 acknowledged;

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.

While millions of people will have already carried out some of the above acts without prosecution or fear of prosecution, many of those acts are still technically illegal.

Vince Cable said: "Making the intellectual property framework fit for the 21st century is not only common sense but good business sense. …

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