11th January 2013

Government announces changes to Copyright Exceptions

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11th January 2013

Government announces changes to Copyright Exceptions


It has for some time been accepted that copyright laws are out of date in the era of mobile devices, aps, e-books, digitised content etc.  Following a long period of review and consultation the government has announced that it intends to bring new legislation into force in October 2013 to introduce some new copyright exceptions.

The new exceptions include:

  • personal use – whereby individuals would be entitled to make copies of copyrighted material, including music and e-books, onto any medium or device for their own private use but users will still be prohibited from sharing such material;
  • Data analysis – Non-commercial researchers will have the right to make copies for their own research and data analysis;
  • parody, caricature and pastiche.

Introducing the plans, business secretary Vince Cable commented:

“We feel we have struck the right balance between improving the way consumers benefit from copyright works they have legitimately paid for, boosting business opportunities and protecting the rights of creators.”

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills claims that the changes could contribute at least £500m to the UK economy over 10 years.  The exceptions have been less favourably received by the copyright owners however who believe these changes are at their cost and have argued for a copyright tax or levy on digital devices such as MP3 players and blank CDs.

For a full list of the intended exceptions go to http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Consumers-given-more-copyright-freedom-68542.aspx