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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 The replacement is also broader in the sense that it covers unpublished works as long as they have been “made available to the public” (in an archive for example).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!

Help is at hand for neglected “Orphan Works”

Chris JHolland25 April 2014

What are “Orphan Works”? An example: We own an archive of personal correspondence bequeathed by an individual. An author wishes to quote from the letters in a biography. The letters by the person are still in copyright (we know the date of death), but who inherited the copyright? Was it left to our archive along with the documents? Letters to our subject from others pose further problems: Copyright is defined by reference to the life span of each correspondent and it could belong to a range of people.
These are orphan works: Likely to be in copyright, but the owners either cannot be identified or if identified cannot be found. The danger in re-using orphan works is that a copyright owner will appear who objects, with the possibility of legal action.
Help will be at hand come Autumn 2014 with the implementation of the EU Orphan Works Directive, Directive 2012/28/EU. This will provide a route for cultural organisations to legitimise re-use of orphan works (excluding stand-alone images such as photographs) on web sites by:
Registration with the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market.
Recording on the OHIM database the results of our “diligent search” along with any information on rights owners we have discovered.
A re-emergent copyright owner will be entitled to “fair compensation” from us. The Directive is intended to cover digitisation for web sites, not broadcasting or distribution. No help to our author but it will assist non-commercial projects to make orphan works available on the web.

Enhanced Disability Exception to Copyright

Chris JHolland10 April 2014

This is one of the more exciting changes included in the updating of exceptions to copyright, which have been proposed by the Government. If all goes to plan it should come into force on 1st June 2014, along with the other changes.  The existing exception (which stands to be replaced) permits the making of accessible copies solely for persons with visual impairments. This allows for example large print copies, conversion into braille and audio versions. Currently there is nothing to  permit copying into a format to assist people with any issues other than visual impairment, such as dyslexia.

The updated version, as published by the IPO, will allow us to make an accessible copy to give a person with any type of disability better access to copyright material. So that if a person with mobility issues would benefit from an accessible copy, we would be allowed to produce that copy for them.

The other major advantage of the new exception is that it now  covers all published copyright works, regardless of the format of the original work. If an accessible version of a film or a sound recording were required then we can now make it.  There are still some checks and record keeping which must be maintained when using the exception but there is little doubt it will be a big improvement. For further information email:  copyright@ucl.ac.uk

Chris Holland, Copyright Support Officer

Link to IPO site

 

Copyright Support

Hazel MIngrey27 March 2014

Copyright support at UCL has just had a boost, with a new addition to our team: the new post of Copyright Support Officer has been taken up by Chris Holland.

Chris will be posting here about copyright news and highlighting frequently asked questions that have arisen at UCL.  Do send your copyright queries as usual to the copyright email address copyright@ucl.ac.uk