The UK government has recently announced changes to how it will enforce copyright that will allow individuals to reproduce copyrighted material for personal use.
The changes were announced last week by UK's Intellectual Property Office and Business Secretary Vince Cable.
New measures include provisions to allow copying of works for individuals' own personal use, parody and for the purposes of quotation. They allow people to use copyright works for a variety of purposes without permission from the copyright owners. They will also bring up to date existing exceptions for education, research and the preservation of materials.
"Making the intellectual property (IP) framework fit for the 21st century is not only common sense but good business sense, Vince Cable said. "Bringing the law into line with ordinary people?s reasonable expectations will boost respect for copyright, on which our creative industries rely."
"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 changes will be introduced in 2013 and will enable third parties to reproduce copyrighted work without permission from rights holders when copying works for individual use, parody or quotation. They will allow people to legally rip MP3s from their CDs and copy digital versions of films they own, a practice that is currently illegal.
Specifically, the U.K. government will make changes to:
- Private copying - to permit people to copy digital content they have bought onto any medium or device that they own, but strictly for their own personal use such as transferring their music collection or eBooks to their tablet, phone or to a private cloud;
- Education - to simplify copyright licensing for the education sector and make it easier for teachers to use copyright materials on interactive whiteboards and similar technology in classrooms and provide access to copyright works over secure networks to support the growing demand for distance learning handouts for students;
- Quotation and news reporting - to create a more general permission for quotation of copyright works for any purpose, as long as the use of a particular quotation is "fair dealing" and its source is acknowledged;
- Parody, caricature and pastiche - to allow limited copying on a fair dealing basis which would allow genuine parody, but prohibit copying disguised as parody;
- Research and private study - to allow sound recordings, films and broadcasts to be copied for non-commercial research and private study purposes without permission from the copyright holder. This includes both user copying and library copying;
- Data analytics for non-commercial research - to allow non-commercial researchers to use computers to study published research results and other data without copyright law interfering;
- Access for people with disabilities - to allow people with disabilities the right to obtain copyright works in accessible formats where a suitable one is not already on the market;
- Archiving and preservation - to allow museums, galleries, libraries and archives to preserve any type of copyright work that is in their permanent collection which cannot readily be replaced; and
- Public administration - to widen existing exceptions to enable more public bodies to share proactively third party information online, which would reflect the existing position in relation to the use of paper copies.
In addition the U.K. government will introduce a new, non-statutory system for clarifying areas where there is confusion or misunderstanding on the scope and application of copyright law. Copyright notices will issued by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).