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Archive for May, 2014

Museums benefit from New Copyright Exceptions

Chris JHolland30 May 2014

It is interesting that some of the new copyright exceptions have been extended to benefit Museums specifically:

Preservation Copies
A good example is the updated Section 42 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) which permits libraries, archives and museums to reproduce copyright works for purposes of replacement and preservation. Not only does this exception now cover museums, it has also has also been widened to encompass copying of works in any format. This means for example that deteriorating film stock and fading photographs can now be reproduced (digitised) for preservation.
Dedicated Terminals
The other prominent example of the inclusion of museums is an entirely new exception in Section 40B of CDPA (new to UK  legislation that is – it is drawn from the EU Copyright Directive 2001/29/EC). This permits libraries, archives, museums and educational establishments to make a copyright work available on a dedicated terminal to members of the public for purposes of research and private study. Interesting that this is not limited to “non commercial” research, but then it does not permit copying.
Although not explicit in the wording of the new exception, the IP Minister, Lord Younger has made it clear that the primary purpose is to improve the availability of digitised copies of older copyright material which may be fragile and otherwise inaccessible to the public.
There is ongoing litigation in Germany involving a University which sought to rely on the underlying exception in EU legislation to justify making a recently published book available via “dedicated terminals” (Schulze v. Darmstadt). Various issues have been referred to the European Court of Justice (reference C-117/13). The outcome will be interesting.

Digitisation and Extended Collective Licensing

Chris JHolland16 May 2014

The Government has published its response to the consultation exercise on Extended Collective Licensing. ECL is the solution offered by the Intellectual Property Office to the copyright issues which prevent large scale digitisation projects in libraries, archives and museums. These are projects involving so many works that it would be impractical to carry out a “diligent search” in an attempt to identify the rights holder of each item. The solution would enable collective rights organisations such as the Copyright Licensing Agency to sell licences for large scale digitisation of works which fall within their area. This is achieved by allowing those organisations to licence the works of rights owners who are not actually their members.

There is of potential interest to any library contemplating a large scale digitisation project to make its collection more accessible, particularly if that collection includes a large number of orphan works. The Government aims to have the new regulations in force by 1st October 2014. The proposed 5 year initial limit on licences is likely to be a big issue.

New Copyright Exceptions to become law on 1st June

Chris JHolland16 May 2014

The latest on the copyright exceptions is that the updated exceptions for Disability; Research, Education, Libraries & Archives; and Public Administration have all completed the Parliamentary process this week and will become law on 1st June. This is thanks in part to energetic lobbying by the library and archives community. The commitment of the IP Minister (Lord Younger) to updating the legislation and the hard work of the IPO should also be acknowledged. A few other changes (contained in 2 statutory instruments) have been held back for closer scrutiny, but there is still hope that this is just a temporary delay. The exceptions which have been delayed are the Private copying exception, covering format changing by private individuals and the new Quotation and Parody exceptions. The Quotation and Parody exceptions are very significant for us and we must hope that it is just a matter of time, but most of the changes of obvious relevance to UCL have passed.

Follow this link to see Lord Younger’s latest statement.

New Copyright Exceptions: breaking news

Chris JHolland9 May 2014

The Statutory Instruments to implement the updated copyright exceptions are experiencing mixed fortunes in Parliament. According to a statement from Lord Younger issued yesterday , three of the five are to be discussed by Parliament during the coming week and subject to Parliamentary approval they are on course to become law on 1st June. These include the exceptions for copying into accessible formats for people with disabilities and all the exceptions relating directly to Education, Research and Libraries and Archives.

On the other hand, two of the Statutory Instruments have been held up because the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments has further questions.  This delays the proposed new exception for Parody and Caricature including the Quotations exception (described here in a recent blog post) because it is included inthe same SI.

The new exception for private copying which is contained in a separate SI has also been held up by the Committee. The latter essentially covers copying to shift format for purely personal use, such as copying music from a CD you have purchased into an MP3 file for convenience.

While the private copying exception has little impact on our work at UCL, the new exceptions for Quotation and for Parody are potentially quite significant and quite helpful. We hope that this is just a delay which may push the timing back beyond 1st June rather than a rejection of this SI.

Fingers crossed!   

 

New Quotations Exception Due 1st June 2014

Chris JHolland1 May 2014

The proposed exception for quotation (New CDPA Section 30) will replace the existing “criticism and review” exception and is much broader. It covers quotation for any purpose, subject to the fair dealing test. The existing exception can only be relied upon when quoting for the purpose of criticism or review of either the work quoted or another work. The replacement is also broader in the sense that it covers unpublished works as long as they have been “made available to the public” (in an archive for example). This will be a positive change in area of historical research.

The exception covers all copyright works, including film and sound recordings, so it will widen the scope for including extracts from those media. It should be easier to include brief extracts in academic works, reducing the occasions where permission is required. Can one ever rely upon the exception to reproduce the whole of a work, for example a photograph, where merely reproducing a proportion makes little sense? This remains doubtful and would be a matter of applying the fair dealing test. Are we quoting more than is reasonable for our purpose? What is the potential for damaging the interests of the copyright owner?  Caution will still be required. As with some other proposed exceptions, this cannot be over-ridden by contract terms.

Did you know that 26th April is World Intellectual Property Day ? To be honest neither did I but it is certainly worth celebrating!