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.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

The dawn of a new era? New UK copyright exceptions enter into force today

Contemplating a new beginning
for UK copyright
At last! The "strictly embargoed" media release from the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can be finally disclosed. 

As copyright aficionados will know just by looking at their marked special-event calendars, today is the day when new exceptions to UK copyright enter into force. But let's read it from the IPO press release: 

"Reforms to copyright law come into force today bringing estimated benefits of at least £250 million to the UK economy [how did we get to this number? Does anybody know?] over the next 10 years.

The reforms will give a number of sectors a legal framework fit for the digital age [an expression nobody ever heard before this very moment ...], removing the burden of unnecessary regulations and helping the UK better preserve and use copyright material.

Changes from today include the removal of copyright barriers to Text and Data Mining for non-commercial research. This important analytic technique helps the UK’s scientific and academic community to deliver new advances in medicine, technology and research.  

Merpel is ready to (text and data) mine
Other essential changes will help organisations from charities to museums and archives both use and protect their own material.

Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger said:
“These common sense reforms will update the UK’s copyright system for the digital age, and help to build and maintain public confidence and respect for copyright.
“These changes bring an end to many instances where people carrying out minor, reasonable acts of copying could have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.
“The text and data mining exception is a particularly important step forward for researchers in the UK and will ensure they have the tools that they need to maintain their competitive edge in an increasingly global marketplace.”

The exceptions coming into force today will bring a range of benefits to a wide range of groups:
· Disabled people and disability groups can now make accessible copies of copyright material (e.g. music, film, books) when no commercial alternative exists. 
· Researchers will benefit from the introduction of the new text and data mining exception for non-commercial research, as well as the reforms to existing exceptions that will enable limited copying of all types of copyright works for non-commercial research and private study.
· Schools, colleges and universities can now use copyright material on interactive whiteboards and in presentations, and as long as they have a licence,  they will not need to worry about accidentally infringing copyright. 
· Libraries, archives and museums will now be better able to protect our cultural heritage and preserve their collections. The existing preservation exception has been expanded to cover all types of copyright work, and now applies to museums and galleries as well as libraries and archives.  Removing the barriers to preservation will save cultural institutions up to £26m per year.
· Public bodies can now publish online the material they hold for public inspection, reducing costs and administrative burden of having to issues paper copies or requiring people to come to their offices.

The Government is also committed to introducing exceptions for private copying and parody and quotation once they have been approved by Parliament [When? This is the only thing which actually appears still strictly embargoed]

2 comments:

patently said...

"estimated benefits of at least £250 million to the UK economy [how did we get to this number? Does anybody know?] over the next 10 years

In other words, £25M per annum, roughly 0.001% of the UK's GDP. Approximately zero, then!

I also blinked at the contrast between:

"Changes from today include the removal of copyright barriers to Text and Data Mining for non-commercial research. "

and

“The text and data mining exception is a particularly important step forward for researchers in the UK and will ensure they have the tools that they need to maintain their competitive edge in an increasingly global marketplace.”


Maintaining a competitive edge in a global marketplace doesn't sound very non-commercial to me...

Anonymous said...

I've often felt that I would pay at least £250 million for access to YouTube, if I had that much. So I may be responsible for that figure.
[This is meant to be a lighthearted comment]

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