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Three new English exceptions to the UK Copyright Law came into force June, 1st 2014. The entry into force of the privaye copy exception was happily delayed.

A small report.

Very broad exceptions …

We had already commented a few times the fact that the British government wanted to introduce in the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 new exceptions to the rights of authors and holders of related rights.

Various exceptions have been recently studied and finally voted in the British Parliament:

1. a new opportunity for people with a disability or a person acting on its behalf to create a copy of an original work if « the person’s disability prevents the person from enjoying the work to the same degree as a person who does not have that disability”. To transform an original work, « the same kind of accessible copies of the work are not commercially available on reasonable terms by or with the authority of the copyright owner”;

2 . an exception that will now allow archive institutions, libraries and museums to reproduce all the works they hold (and so also photographs, audiovisual and sounds works) for the purpose of preservation. Works reproduced will only have to be seen in the local premises. The exception will also allow text and data mining (if the research is carried out for non-commercial purpose) as well as reproductions of works for private studies;

3. an exception “to ensure the proper performance or reporting of administrative proceedings” as provided in Article 5.3.e of Directive 2001. This exception should allow the administrative authorities to publish on their website “documents which are open to public inspection or on an official register and of material which is communicated to the Crown in the course of public business”. This online publication should replace paper copies made before by the administrative authorities bodies.

Each of these new exceptions has a very wide scope. And, of course, without compensation to the rightholders every time.

They all came into force on 1 June 2014. We suggest you to browse the links we have provided to you in order to really understand the meaning of the definitive modifications (especially the second exception for teaching and research that deserves an analysis by itself).

but … two happily delayed

Two other exceptions also should have come into force this June 1, 2014 : the private copying exception (but greatly reduced compared to what we know in Belgium) and the quotation and parody exception.

We had already told what we think of the English text in relation to the private copying exception that the British government would like to introduce : allowing the same acts than what is allowed in Belgium and France but without any compensation to rightholders.

We hope that the British government will now re-read his copy and finally understand that it must abide the consequences of his choice. If he wants to introduce the private copying exception, it must also allow beneficiaries to be properly compensated in return.

One does not go without the other.

Axel Beelen