Feeds

Parliamentary committee suspends intellectual property rights inquiry

Hargreaves review out soon, will suggest freeing up 'orphan' works

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

A parliamentary committee has dropped its inquiry into the Digital Economy Act (DEA) and whether it is the right mechanism to protect copyright on the internet.

The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee said that it was taking its decision in light of ongoing court action surrounding the controversial UK law.

Last month the High Court ruled that the DEA, which allows for regulations to be made that force internet service providers (ISPs) to disconnect users if copyright-holders believe the user is violating their rights, complies with EU law.

TalkTalk, one of the ISPs that led the court action, has said that it may challenge the ruling in the European courts.

The Committee had called for evidence in November last year to help it consider the DEA's new framework for protecting intellectual property (IP) rights online, and the extent to which the new laws would be a reasonable and sufficient response.

It planned to address issues raised by the government's ongoing review of the UK's intellectual property framework, which will be published later this week.

The Review of Intellectual Property and Growth is led by Professor Ian Hargreaves, chair of Digital Economy at Cardiff University. It was announced by the prime minister late last year.

The review aims to identify barriers to economic growth within the current IP framework, which consists of the rules and regulations covering how IP is created, used and protected. It will then see if the framework needs to be relaxed to provide more support to digital businesses.

Speaking to industry representatives in November 2010, the prime minister had said he wanted to see a US-style approach to IP laws, including a 'fair use' exemption to allow copyrighted material to be used freely without permission under certain conditions.

However, submissions to Professor Hargreaves' review panel indicated strong opposition to the idea from a range of media industry bodies including ITV, the CBI and News Corporation.

An imminent review of EU laws on IP, also due this month, will likely offer similar protections to creators' rights.

The Government has already promised to modernise the current copyright system, with simplified payments and minimal transaction costs, in response to Hargreaves' review as part of the Treasury's Plan for Growth (131-page / 1.7MB PDF). The report also commits the Government to no further broad IP rights reviews during this Parliament.

The review will also include recommendation to free up access to "orphan works", where the original rights-holder cannot be contacted, according to the Treasury report.

Mr Hargreaves is also expected to recommend legalising copying works to a different format for private use, such as converting tracks on a CD into a digital music library, according to a Sunday Telegraph report.

The government plans to set out the next steps needed to implement the DEA shortly, according to its response to the High Court ruling.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

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

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.