For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Private copying, parody and quotation exceptions: a Gattopardo-esque approach?

The grand ball of UK exceptions
One this Kat's favourite books of all time is Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo, known in English as The Leopard, and perhaps even better known in Visconti's movie adaptation [here the trailer of the recently restored version], starring a melancholic Burt Lancaster as the Prince of Salina, a handsome Alain Delon as Tancredi, and an enchanting Claudia Cardinale as Angelica

Of its many memorable quotes, there is one that may perhaps apply to what seems to be going on in the UK at the moment with regard to proposed exceptions for private copying and parody, caricature and pastiche, and broader quotation exception: "Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga come è, bisogna che tutto cambi!" [If we want things to stay the same, everything must change!], meaning that if you want things not to change at all you have nonetheless to give the appearance of change.

After the Gowers Review (2006), after the Hargreaves Review (2011), after the response of UK Government to the Hargreaves Review, after a public consultation and subsequent Government response, after the publication by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of a number of draft exceptions [here and here], on 27 March last draft regulations were laid before UK Parliament for approval by resolution of each House of Parliament. Subject to parliamentary approval, the new regulations would enter [or rather: would have entered?] into force on 1 June 2014.

As the IPO explained, "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."

Oh well ...
At that time this innocent Kat thought that a declaration like this was just an expression of typical British understatement. She could not possibly imagine that use of the adjective "small" might be indeed an objective representation of what would happen next.

As reported by the IPKat, apparently yesterday UK Government pulled the exceptions for personal copies for private uses and parody, caricature and pastiche [which, by the way, is in the same draft Regulations as quotation].

However, the most engaging UK Parliament website published the "House of Lords Business", and it would seem that the Draft Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014 and Draft Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 have not been officially pulled yet, but rather would be (re-)considered by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments on 14 May.

Merpel is not an expert on UK constitutional law so is not sure what this means. However, she's concerned that 14 May may be too late for entry into force of these Regulations on 1 June. Therefore she wonders whether the 14 May date may be just when the 'Game Over' label is placed on UK attempts to introduce private copying and parody exceptions, as well as a broader quotation exception? What do readers think?

Watch this space for further developments!

UPDATE: According to a Katfriend, "This morning's House of Lords Business still shows all 5 SIs as being for consideration on 14th May. This will only possible for the two not debated yesterday if there is another opportunity for Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee to debate them and report before 14th May which doesn't appear to be the case"

FURTHER UPDATE: According to OutLaw, "the three SIs are due to be considered at a meeting of the Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee at the parliament on Monday. They said that they could not confirm why the JCSI had decided against backing the SIs on private copying and parody rights at this time"

1 comment:

Javier Ruiz said...

Apparently, it is the Joint Committee for Secondary Legislation that is holding the process by raising questions and concerns. They won't consider the SIs until mid June. If we are very very lucky they may get approved by the end of June.

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