Following approval in the House of Commons earlier this month, yesterday at around 6:15 pm [as the illustrious and learned Katfriend who told this Kat specified] the House of Lords also approved the draft SIs [you can read an early statement from the Open Rights Group here].
This means that, following the bunch of other exceptions [research, education, libraries and archives; disability; and public administration] that entered into force on 1 June last, also these new exceptions are now scheduled for entry into force. This will be on 1 October 2014.
The official report from yesterday's discussion in the House of Lords makes an engaging reading. New IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said pretty interesting things not only about these exceptions, but more in general about the role of copyright and how UK Government intends it.
|Strong and (clearly) respected|
Among the initiatives promoted by UK Government, she mentioned extending copyright protection for sound recordings and performances [by the way: did you know that apparently France, Poland and Romania have yet to transpose , setting up the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit [see the "This website has been reported to the police" initiative described by Jeremy here], supporting the industry-led Copyright Hub and educational campaign Creative Content UK [also mentioned in the Australian Government Discussion Paper on Online Copyright Infringement, which has just been released].
Personal copies for private use do not come with a levy
With regard to this exception, the IP Minister started by saying that "[c]opyright law should not stand in the way of people being able to use and enjoy their own property."
However, compared to private copying in other EU Member States, the forthcoming UK exception for "personal copies for private use" will be narrower.
Because of its narrow scope, UK Government decided against the introduction of private copying levies [which, for instance, have been recently at the centre of heated discussions in Italy], also on consideration that British consumers would not tolerate them.
"They are inefficient, bureaucratic and unfair, and disadvantage people who pay for content", said the Minister, who added that the InfoSoc Directive leaves Member States free not to provide compensation where an exception is likely to cause minimal or no harm, or where appropriate payment has already been made. This view is also supported by UK-based IP profs. In any case, as readers might probably remember, the de minimis rule as per Recital 35 to the Directive is among the issues at stake in the pending Copydan reference [Merpel, who likes drama, says: it would be fun if the Court of Justice had a different opinion from UK Government and IP profs ...].
Parody caricature and pastiche will have to be fair dealing
As regards the parody/caricature/pastiche exception, the Minister observed that "we need to protect the right to mock the high and mighty". Above all, "[c]opyright should incentivise creation, not obstruct it. It should allow people to voice their opinions, not stifle them."
Fair (dealing) enough, but you better not think that this does give you carte blanche to do whatever crosses your mind.
This is because UK Government deemed appropriate to frame the parody/caricature/pastiche exception within fair dealing. So, "fair dealing will mean that copying a whole work without changing it will not be allowed. For example, it would not be considered “fair” to use an entire musical track on a spoof video. This will mean the market for the original work should be unaffected."
This Kat has already criticised the move of framing parody within fair dealing, on fear that in practice UK exception might end up being a pretty narrow defence, especially when it comes to artistic works.
As regards music tracks, Merpel wonders how this could affect the market for this ... Yet, "At present, when a whole work, such as a musical track, is used in a parody the copyright owner will often allow this in exchange for appropriate remuneration. The fair dealing exception means that such licensing will still be possible."
This new exception leaves unaffected "tough laws on libel".
|Random quotes will be OK|
Finally, with regard to quotation, broadening its scope was deemed necessary because "UK copyright legislation currently allows quotations and extracts only for the purpose of “criticism or review”. So a whole range of activities which the average person is likely to consider reasonable risk infringing copyright because they fall outside the current “criticism and review” exception. An academic paper or student essay which quotes a title of a journal, book or film, or uses a short extract to ensure proper citation, although likely to be considered fair by a court, is likely to fall outside the current “criticism and review” exemption. Small theatres and record companies have complained that they are often prevented from using quotes from newspaper reviews in their own promotional material."
The changes "will remove this limitation and permit all types of fair quotation, as long as there is acknowledgement of the source of the quotation. There should be no obstacle to fair and honest quotation. British citizens should have no less a right to it than those of other democratic nations."