Copyright Modernisation continues

We expect to see some broadening of exceptions under UK Copyright Law next month.  Some are in reality merely the legalisation of common practice so for example individuals will be able to make copies of works they already own so long as it is for their own personal non commercial use - so for example if you own a CD you can copy it onto a compilation on say an MP3 player to enjoy on the move.  Oddly computer programmes have been excluded from this new rule.  The rules around quotation are to be simplified so that the only question becomes whether it is fair and proportionate rather than having to worry about the purpose of the quotation.

Other changes will benefit those involved in non commercial research who will be permitted to create copies and allow access on the premises of academic institutions and also to undertake data mining for research purposes.  The broader public interest will also benefit from certain institutions being permitted to make copies of copyright works to ensure the preservation of the original  - so for example a valuable manuscript can be kept safely in optimal conditions while the copy is used for every day access or display.  Additionally public authorities will be able to share copyright material electronically.

Another important reform will allow copyright materials to be copied in an accessible format for the benefit of the disabled - either as single copies for the use of an individual or in certain circumstances in larger numbers by charities. Also adding to the general happiness quotient of the nation parody is to be specifically authorised although subject to "fair dealing" and of course general laws on moral rights, defamation etc.

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