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United Kingdom News

UK Gov't Plans To Give 'Greater Freedom To Use Copyright Works' 48

crimperman writes "The U.K. government is planning to change their copyright laws to give 'greater freedom' on usage. The Dept. for Business Innovation and Skills say the new measures 'include provisions to allow copying of works for personal use parody and for the purposes of quotation.' (There is currently no 'fair use' law in the U.K.) They also say the provisions 'allow people to use copyright works for a variety of ... purposes without permission from the copyright owners,' and 'bring up to date the provisions for education use.' A sensible copyright law from the U.K.? What are the chances of this getting through?"
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UK Gov't Plans To Give 'Greater Freedom To Use Copyright Works'

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  • Fair Dealing (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bogtha ( 906264 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:11PM (#42360359)

    There is currently no 'fair use' law in the U.K.

    There is, it's called "fair dealing" [].

  • Re:Behind the times (Score:4, Informative)

    by StoneyMahoney ( 1488261 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:31PM (#42360569)

    It won't be coming any time soon - business secretary Vince Cable specifically refused to refused any levies like that when the EU asked us to implement them.

  • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @12:40PM (#42360649)

    Without fair use provisions until now?

    I do not understand how society could even function if you cannot at least quote with citations someone else without breaking the law.

    As others have said, short quotations are OK.

    As for the format shifting/ripping thing, everybody just ignores it. In the UK, even the recording industry isn't terminally stupid enough to prosecute people copying a CD they bought onto a MP3 player. However, if you make hardware that rips CDs then be careful how you advertise it [] (Note: before you start frothing at the mouth too much, these people weren't prosecuted - they were just told by the independent advertising industry watchdog to change their advert, because someone raised a complaint that was petty but legally correct).

  • Re:Fair Dealing (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Friday December 21, 2012 @01:51PM (#42361547)

    That is true, but they aren't direct equivalents: the US concept of fair use is built on general principles, but the UK concept of fair dealing enumerates specific exceptions to copyright.

    That set of exceptions is currently absurdly small by modern standards; you know you've gone crazy when even Big Media is saying in public that it won't go after people for doing things that aren't considered "fair" in this way! But there's nothing adaptive about the underlying law (unlike fair use in the US) so advancing technology has left it behind.

    After several high-profile formal reviews of UK IP laws that each led almost nowhere despite invariably proposing a bunch of reasonably and widely supported changes, it seems like pretty much everyone is fed up of having daft laws on the books that make the UK look like some backwater village rather than a major centre for creative and technology advancement. Hopefully we really will see sensible change now, particularly with regard to things like format shifting, and hopefully also the whole DRM-nullifies-all-related-freedoms problem.

Loose bits sink chips.