Private copying, parody and quotation rights rules move closer to being implemented

Out-Law News | 30 Jun 2014 | 5:07 pm | 1 min. read

Proposed new UK rights to make a private copy of copyrighted material or use such material in works of parody or in quotations are a step closer to being introduced into law after receiving the support of a parliamentary committee.

Two draft statutory instruments containing the proposed changes to UK copyright laws are currently before the UK parliament for scrutiny. The government has proposed introducing the new rules, which can only be accepted or rejected and not amended at this stage, to accompany a raft of other new copyright exceptions that were introduced into UK law at the beginning of June.

The draft regulations on private copying and on parody and quotation rights were set to be introduced at the same time as the other reforms but were withdrawn from parliamentary scrutiny after a parliamentary committee, the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, raised "some questions about the ... exceptions" that they wanted to discuss further with the government.

The proposals were subsequently reintroduced before parliament and will come into force on 1 October if they are approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

As part of that process, the proposals have been subject to scrutiny by another parliamentary committee, the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee. That committee has now "determined that the special attention of the House [of Lords] need not be drawn to [the draft regulations]". However, its latest report on the proposals does repeat concerns with the plans that it had raised previously.

"In our 41st report of last session, we said that we saw the changes proposed in the regulations as undoubtedly significant, for example in their positive potential for the research sector, and in their negative potential, conversely, for rights-holders in the music sector and elsewhere," it said. "We urged the government to monitor the impact of the changes from the point of implementation, and to respond effectively if it became clear that any negative potential was being realised. The purposes and effects of the instruments now re-laid are on all fours with the earlier versions, and we have no further comment to make on them."

A debate on the draft Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations and draft Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations is due to take place in the House of Lords on 3 July.