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In the end the new rules were passed.

Government proposals on copyright go missing

THE UK governmen't latest proposals on copyright went missing this morning. Parliament's Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI)issued a deeply sceptical report on the proposal to permit so-called "private copying" without compensation to authors or performers. It concluded:

The Committee therefore reports regulation 3 of the draft Regulations on the ground that there appears to be doubt as to whether it would be intra vires to introduce the proposed exception to copyright and rights in performance without also providing for a compensation scheme.

The deeply unexciting language means that if Parliament passed the proposal it would very likely be overturned, for example at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Strasbourg. Subtext: "so don't do that, then"

To recap: making "private copying" legal in the UK is a very good idea. EU law requires that those whose works are copied receive "fair compensation" for the effect on sales. This is also a very good idea.

The government was hoping that its proposal to change the law would be rubber-stamped by the House of Lords on Thursday 3 July. Immediately after the JCSI report it had disappeared from their Lordships' diary. The Freelance is trying to find out what the government's response actually is.

Also disappeared from the diary are proposals to extend the conditions under which works can be "quoted", including use in parody. The NUJ and the umbrella the Creators' Rights Alliance have asked precisely what it would mean for an illustration or a photograph to be "quoted".

The Intellectual Property Office has Tweeted™ an update:

IPO.GOV.UK @The_IPO 2014-07-02 12:13 BST
Debate on private copying and parody & quotation #copyrightexceptions in @UKHouseofLords has been moved and will take place later this month

Update 03/07/14: A civil servant who shall remain nameless told the Freelance today that the JCSI finding that there might be legal problems with the government's proposals "does not mean that there are". The government continues to believe that there is no settled European law on fair compensation for creators. It therefore proposes to introduce the measures in the Commons, unchanged, soon. We cannot find anything on the timetable of the House.

And then... it appears under the Tenth Delegated Legislation Committee on Wednesday 9 July.

Last modified: 03 Jul 2014 14:40 First posted 02 Jul 2014 11:34
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