[A2k] UK Copyright reform: what will change?
manon.ress at keionline.org
Tue Jun 3 13:29:31 PDT 2014
Breakthrough in copyright law reform confirmed
Guest blog by Naomi Korn, Chair of the Libraries and Archives Copyright
Alliance and Benjamin White, Head of Intellectual Property at the British
20 years of hard work by our sector has resulted, at last, in the
recognition that copyright laws are out of kilter with the digital age and
many of the activities taking place across our libraries, archives, museums
and educational establishments, need to be supported by fit for purpose
exceptions. This will create legal certainty and achieve a better balance
between creators rights and user needs, and in doing this make copyright
The new exceptions to copyright that have just been through the House of
Commons and the House of Lords, will gain royal assent in June.
They herald a new era where our colleagues across the cultural heritage and
educational sectors can at last provide measured and reasonable access to
important works from our collections (including sound and film) without
risk of infringements.
As part of the Hargreaves Review of IP recommendations, they mean that
copyright change for the better, has come into fruition.
What will change?
These vital changes include:
Much needed digital preservation exceptions to prevent the loss of vital
sound recordings, film, as well as text based works.
Allowing the digitisation of analogue collections and their use on
dedicated computer terminals on the premises of libraries, archives and
New educational exceptions to support teaching, learning and research.
An expansion of the fair dealing exceptions for private study or
non-commercial research purposes to cover not just text, as is the case
today but sound and film also.
Amendments to Library Privilege so that publicly accessible not for profit
libraries can make fair dealing copies on behalf of their users from all
copyright works. It is great to see that for many of these education and
research exceptions it is recognised that sound and film have equal
importance in an education and cultural context as text based materials.
A new text and data mining (TDM) exception which will dramatically boost
non commercial research. In an era of "big data", research must be
supported by allowing organisations and individuals, who have legal access
already to copyright materials, to extract facts and data contained therein
on a large scale. This new exception will provide unlimited opportunities
to support vital research leading to new discoveries and greater innovation.
Copying into accessible formats for readers who are disabled in any way
will be allowed, putting all citizens on a level pegging with the
able-bodied. (Currently the law only allows copying for the visually
Vitally, many of these core "permitted acts" in copyright law given to us
by parliament will not be able to be overridden by contracts that have been
signed. This is of vital importance, as without this provision, existing
and new exceptions in law could subsequently simply be overridden by a
contract. Also many contracts are based in the laws of other countries
(often the US). This important provision means that libraries and their
users no longer need to worry about what the contract allows or disallows
but just apply UK copyright exceptions to the electronic publications they
LACA and our colleagues will continue to work with the Intellectual
Property Office and HM Government to support them implementing the new
proposed exceptions for personal copying and copying for Parody/Quotation
CILIP and the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance advocate for a fair
and balanced copyright framework which respects the rights of copyright
holders whilst placing equal value on the importance of users'
Manon Ress, Ph.D.
Knowledge Ecology International, KEI
manon.ress at keionline.org, tel.: +1 202 332 2670
More information about the A2k