Feeds

UK opposes copyright exemptions for mash-ups

You ain't got a bootleg to stand on, chum

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

There should be no new exemption from copyright law for users' adaptations of copyright-protected content, the UK Government has said. To create such an exemption for user-generated content would ignore the rights of content creators, it said.

The Government has responded to a consultation paper published by the European Commission on copyright reform. That consultation asks whether the European Union's Copyright Directive should be amended to introduce exemptions for 'user-created content'. User-created content can include individuals' use of professionally-produced music, film, video or images for a new or different purpose to the original.

The Government rejected proposed changes that would exempt such users of copyrighted material from restrictions in copyright law.

"The suggestion for an exemption for user-created content seems to create a distinction between those who use and those who create works, which in many cases is not justified," said the Government's response to the Commission's consultation.

"Another significant concern is the extent to which such an exemption might allow others to use the works in a way that the existing rights holders do not approve of and the impact that exemptions in this area might have on remuneration," it said.

The Government suggested that legislators focus more on improving licensing of material by copyright owners to allow other people to make works using parts of their content. It said that companies had already found some success in negotiating such agreements themselves.

"In addition to the 'Creative Commons' licence we have seen the 2007 agreement between [music licensing body] the MCPS-PRS Alliance and YouTube which enables YouTube users to include certain musical works in their video clips under a licence given to YouTube," said the Government. "In considering any possible exemptions in this area it is important to consider carefully the potential impact on existing rights holders, in terms of both commercial and non-commercial [user-generated content]," it said.

The Commission's consultation is designed to help it review the EU's Copyright Directive and it focused particularly on when people should be exempt from copyright laws.

The consultation asked whether some of the exemptions which countries are allowed to include in their own copyright laws be mandatory. The Government said that not enough work and research had been done to ascertain whether or not that was wise.

The Government had the same view in relation to exemptions for libraries and for schools, though it did say that there were bodies which were worried that a clarification of educational exemptions to copyright law could lead to a widening of those exemptions.

The Government said that any plans to make it compulsory to provide material in specific formats for disabled users should be resisted.

"We do not believe that stipulating formats in law will be helpful," said the Government's response. "Keeping legislation up to date with changes in technology is likely to be extremely difficult, and locking particular technologies into a legal framework could hamper efforts to deliver improvements."

The Government did back the creation of one new exemption, though. The EU's Database Directive does not have an exemption for people with disabilities in the way that the Copyright Directive and copyright laws have. The Commission asked whether a new exemption in that Directive should be created. The Government said it should.

"Subject to evaluation of the impact of making such an amendment, it would seem appropriate to ensure that the same conditions apply to an exception including databases as apply to the current exemption dealing with other works," it said.

See: The Government's response (11-page/546kb pdf)

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.