The Hargreaves report on UK copyright reform sounds pretty sensible: it endorses a Fair Dealing exception to copyright for parody; a format-shifting exemption to legalize loading MP3 players; and an orphan works clearing house to make it easy to clear rights for works whose creators can't be identified. The devil will be in the details (especially in for orphan works, where a corrupt process could make it easy for big companies to rip off creators by claiming they couldn't find them), but this is some pretty sane-sounding stuff:
Last year's viral hit Newport State of Mind - a parody of Alicia Keys and Jay Z's hugely successful single New York State of Mind - was forced off YouTube after the seven co-writers of the original declined to give their permission for this use of their IP.
Under the Hargreaves recommendations the parody, which writers Alex Warren and Terema Wainright unsuccessfully attempted to get clearance for in a meeting with Universal Records, would be given the green light.
"The case for introducing and updating this exception is strong in both cultural and economic terms," Hargreaves, chair of digital economy at the Cardiff School of Journalism, will say in the review. "A healthy creative economy should embrace creativity in all its aspects. A legally sound structure would not be mocked by pervasive infringement by otherwise law abiding citizens and organisations with the stature of the BBC."
Report calls for overhaul of UK copyright law
Jim from the UK Open Rights Group writes, “Why has the UK’s Digital Economy Bill been drafted to criminalise file sharing and minor online copyright infringements? The government said they just wanted to bring online infringement into line with ‘real world’ fake DVD offences. However, that isn’t how they offence is drawn up: and the […]
Back in 2010, on the last day of the last Labour government, a whipped Parliament voted in the terrible Digital Economy Act, after a short, embarrassingly illiterate debate whose howlers demonstrated just how little the MPs understood about the law they were voting in (the whole process was later revealed to be a fix from […]
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