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What are the private use exceptions?

In UK law there is no specific private use exception, but several of the exceptions are more relevant to private use. The following activities do not infringe copyright:

  • "Fair dealing" with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purposes of private study. This may cover the making of a single copy of a short extract of a work or other very limited use of a work, so long as it falls within the scope of the term "private study". This includes study purely for personal enjoyment.
  • A recording of a broadcast can be made in domestic premises for private and domestic use to enable it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time. This time-shifting exception does not cover the making of recordings for placing in a collection for repeated viewing or listening; and use of recordings other than to time-shift a programme for yourself or your family is likely to be illegal.
  • Drawing, taking a photograph or making a film of buildings or sculptures and works of artistic craftsmanship in a public place or in premises open to the public.
  • Making a necessary back up copy of a computer program where you are a lawful user.