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Hargreaves implementation: Copyright

Progress - latest news

March 2014

  • Update on progress of Exceptions to Copyright regulations

    The Government has today 7 March provided an update on the progress of new exceptions to copyright regulations, in response to a written parliamentary question.

    Following a technical review in the summer of 2013, the Government has made a number of technical changes to the draft regulations. The regulations are now subject to final checking, and in accordance with routine practice the Department is currently consulting the legal advisers to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. This advance scrutiny process usually takes a period of at least two sitting weeks. The regulations will be laid before Parliament and published as soon as this process is complete.

    The Government also confirmed that it will be publishing a full response to the technical review, explanatory notes, guidance and other supporting documents alongside the regulations, and that all of these documents will be made publicly available on our website.

    The full response to the Parliamentary question External Link can be read on the Parliament website.

March 2014

  • Publication of first Copyright notice on digital images, photographs and the internet Latest addition

    As use of social media becomes ever more widespread, the IPO has published new guidance for people who use, upload and link to images and photos on the web - whether for business or personal use. You can find this information on Copyright notice 2014.

    Last year, IPO asked people to tell us what areas of copyright law they found confusing, so we could publish practical guidance in the form of a Copyright notice. Having reviewed the requests that have been received, the IPO has now published its first Copyright notice, covering use of images and photos on the internet.

    Copyright notices aim to provide clear and non-technical guidance that people can use with confidence. IPO would be interested in hearing your feedback on this one. Email us to tell us what you think or to ask for more information. You can also suggest topics for future Copyright notices via our online form.

February 2014

  • Draft secondary legislation to regulate collecting societies laid in Parliament Latest addition

    Today (6 February 2014) draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Regulation of relevant licensing bodies) Regulations 2014, along with an Explanatory Memorandum and revised Impact Assessment have been laid in Parliament. These draft Regulations have been made using a power in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act External Link. They are intended to support a system of self regulation by collecting societies (the "relevant licensing bodies" in the regulations) by giving Government powers to close any gaps that may emerge in the self-regulatory framework. This should improve the efficiency of collective licensing and strengthen confidence in the operation of collecting societies, delivering benefits for members and users of collecting societies.

    The draft regulations have been updated to take account of feedback received from the technical review and further legal scrutiny. The main changes are:

    - The ability to require a licensing body to modify only parts of a code of practice rather than having to compile a completely new code (Regulation 2).

    - A new condition which gives the licensing body an opportunity to amend its code of practice within 49 days after being notified that it does not comply with the specified criteria. (Regulation 3).

    - The time available to a collecting society to submit a compliant code after a direction has been issued by the Secretary of State has been extended to 49 days from 28 days (Regulation 4).

    - Clarification of the total amount payable in default fines (Regulation 10).

    - The addition of new appeal right which allows an appeal to be made against the imposition of a financial penalty as well as the amount (Regulation 12).

    The draft Regulations will be subject to the 'affirmative' approval procedure. This means that they will only become law after they have been debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament. The exact timing of this process will depend on parliamentary workload, but we anticipate the Regulations will come into force on the April 2014 common commencement date.

    For further information please see the draft regulations External Link and consultation.

January 2014

  • Technical consultation on the draft secondary legislation for both the UK orphan works licensing scheme and the transposition of the EU Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works (2012/28/EU)

    Orphan works are copyright works (such as books, photographs, films and music) for which one or more of the copyright owners cannot be found. If someone wants to copy a work to use it in a book, an exhibition, on a website or in a documentary, they need to obtain permission from the rights holders (creators, publishers, broadcasters etc). At present, if the work is an orphan then it cannot be reproduced lawfully.

    The Government's orphan works scheme aims to address the issue of reproducing works when rights holders cannot be found. The UK wide scheme provided under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 External Link, allows for the commercial and non-commercial use of any type of orphan work, by any applicant, once they have undertaken a diligent search for missing rights holders and paid a licence fee.

    Alongside the UK scheme, the Government is implementing the complementary EU orphan works Directive External Link. This will allow publicly accessible archives to digitise certain works and to display them on their websites for access across the EU.

    This technical consultation is seeking views on the legal effectiveness, structure and effect of the draft secondary legislation only. The overall policy is outside the scope of this consultation.

    The closing date for comments is Friday, 28 February 2014.

    For further information, please see the consultation PDF document(875Kb). An interactive response form PDF document(66Kb) is also available.

November 2013

  • Technical consultation on draft secondary legislation for extended collective licensing (ECL) schemes

    ECL is a type of licensing that allows an authorised collecting society to extend an existing collective licence so that it can license on behalf of all rights holders in the sector, except those who opt out. While traditional collective licensing relies on rights holders opting in by giving the collecting society express permission to license their works, ECL assumes that rights holders want their works to be licensed, unless they opt out.

    ECL is one of the measures the Government is introducing to simplify the licensing system. Along with several other measures in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 External Link, it will help make copyright licensing more efficient and remove unnecessary barriers to the legitimate use of works, while preserving the interests of right holders.

    This technical consultation is on the draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations. The Government is inviting respondents to submit substantive comments on the legal effectiveness, structure and effect of the regulations only. The policy is out of scope of this consultation.

    Please submit written comments by midday on 28 January 2014.

    For further information please see the consultation.

September 2013

  • Consultation on draft secondary legislation to regulate collecting societies

    Collecting societies license a range of copyright works. Efficient licensing benefits both their members and their licensees. The Government’s policy intention is to strengthen confidence in the operation of collecting societies in support of these benefits. As such, it has taken a power in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act External Link that requires collecting societies to self-regulate in the first instance. The power also allows the Government to make secondary legislation to remedy and, where warranted, penalise gaps in self-regulation.

    The draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Regulation of relevant licensing bodies) Regulations 2014 is the subject of this consultation.

    Given the extensive formal consultation on the policy and discussions about it, including in the Codes Working Group, respondents are invited to submit substantive comments on the legal effectiveness of the regulations only. The policy is out of scope of this consultation.

    You are invited to submit written comments by midday on 7 October 2013.

    For further information please see the consultation.

July 2013

  • Launch of copyright notices service

    Today, 30 July 2013, the IPO launched the copyright notices service that lets people ask the Government to clarify unclear copyright law.

    Businesses and consumers have told the Government that they are sometimes confused about how copyright works in practice. The Government wants to make it easier for these people to understand copyright law and be able to use copyright works with confidence.

    The new copyright notices service is asking people to tell the Government what aspects of copyright law are unclear, and the problems that this causes them. By using an online form, businesses and consumers can request guidance on particular topics. Taking account of the issues raised, the Government will publish clear and impartial guidance, in the form of a copyright notice.

June 2013

  • Draft legislation to modernise copyright exceptions published for technical review

    The second batch of drafts has now been published for review and includes the exceptions for data analysis for non-commercial research, changes to the exceptions for education, and also amendments to exceptions for research, libraries and archives.

    The draft for the disability exception will be released in the coming weeks.

    You are invited to submit any written comments as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on these exceptions is 2 August 2013

  • Draft legislation to modernise copyright exceptions published for technical review

    In "Modernising Copyright" we made a commitment that we would give everyone an opportunity to comment on the detail of the draft legislation implementing changes to copyright exceptions.

    The first batch of drafts have now been published for review and include the exceptions for private copying, parody, quotation and public administration. Drafts for the other exceptions will be released as soon as they are ready.

    You are invited to submit any written comments as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on the first four exceptions is 17 July 2013.

May 2013

  • The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 -Your photos and you

    This note sets out how the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will affect photographers. Although it is now law, it will only have an impact once rules for orphan works and extended collective licensing schemes have been developed, fully consulted on and approved by Parliament, which will not happen before 2014.

    There have been several reports and commentaries in the media incorrectly claiming that new Orphan Works provisions in the ERR Act will remove the automatic right to copyright for owners of photos posted online. In fact:

    1. The powers will not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright.
    2. They will not allow anyone to use a copyright work without permission and free of charge.

    A licence will be needed to use a work as an "orphan". This requires an applicant to undertake a diligent search for the copyright holder, which the Government appointed independent authorising body will have to verify, and then pay a fair price for the licence.

    The Act itself contains a number of protections for photographers and other creators, described in the document below. In addition, the detailed rules are being developed with representatives of the photography sectors and other stakeholders. You will also have the opportunity to have your say on the draft Rules in a public consultation.

    The facts on some of the more common misunderstandings of the Act have been put together in a myth and fact information document PDF document(94Kb).

December 2012

  • Changes to create greater freedom to use copyright works

    On Thursday 20 December 2012, the Government published the final part of its response to its Copyright Consultation: "Modernising Copyright: a modern, robust and flexible framework PDF document(664Kb)".

    The response sets out Government decisions on changes to the framework for 'copyright exceptions'. These changes will introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. Protections for the interests of copyright owners and creators are built in to the revised framework.

    The Government is committed to achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is shared across the country and between industries. These changes will be good both for creators and users of copyright works.

    Government will bring forward secondary legislation to introduce these changes in 2013. Prior to this, the Government will publish the draft regulations for technical review.

    Impact assessments associated with this document are available on the professional side of our website.

October 2012

  • Minimum standards for UK collecting societies

    The Government has today published the minimum standards PDF document(360Kb) which underpin the self-regulatory framework for collecting societies. The minimum standards, which cover fairness, transparency, and good governance, are intended to form the basis of collecting societies’ individual codes of practice. An initial review of these codes will be undertaken by an independent code reviewer in November 2013, one year after launch.

    The minimum standards have been developed in conjunction with collecting societies and users as part of the Government’s consultation on copyright reforms. They are intended to be a living document and will evolve to take account of market developments.

    The Government is currently taking legislation through Parliament that includes provision for a backstop power that will require a collecting society to adopt a code of practice if its self-regulatory code fails. The consultation on codes of practice concluded that one year was a sufficient period of time for collecting societies to put in place codes that comply with these minimum standards.

July 2012

  • Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

    Today, 31 July 2012, Richard Hooper published Copyright works: streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age - Phase 2 report PDF document(1.28Mb) on the Digital Copyright Exchange.

  • Publication of responses to Copyright Consultation

    Today, Thursday 26 July 2012, the Government published the responses it received during its consultation on Copyright. The Government received 471 responses from interested parties.

    The submitted responses, with the exception of confidential submissions, are listed in alphabetical order by surname or company/organisation name.

    The Government had initially planned to publish the full set of responses alongside its summary PDF document(440Kb) published on 14 June 2012. However, in the course of reviewing the responses received, it became clear that a small number of respondents had advanced criticisms or inappropriately criticised the activities of others in the sector. The Government has now carefully reviewed the submissions to establish any potentially defamatory material and has redacted any inappropriate or defamatory comments. Signatures or personal telephone numbers and email addresses have also been redacted for information security purposes.

    Thirteen (13) organisations submitted after the consultation closed, and their late submissions are also available in the Intellectual Property Office website.

  • Government Policy Statement: Consultation on modernising copyright

    Today, 2 July 2012, the Government published a policy statement on modernising copyright licensing PDF document(406Kb) in light of the recent consultation. The Government also published updated impact assessments on each of the three proposals in the policy statement.

    The Government intends to legislate as soon as possible to:

     - allow schemes to be introduced for the commercial and non-commercial use of ‘orphan’ copyright works and voluntary extended collective licensing of copyright works, subject to a number of important safeguards, and

     - to create a backstop power to require collecting societies to adopt codes of conduct based on minimum standards.

    It also sets out the broad parameters that the Government intends to set for these schemes.

    The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament, provides such an opportunity and the Government plans to lay amendments to introduce these measures in the Committee Stage of the Bill. Once the necessary legislation is in place, there will be further consideration of the details of all these measures, generally through consultation, before the final schemes are laid before Parliament for approval.

    On a separate issue not covered by the policy statement, the Government will take a power in the Bill to implement into UK law EU Directive 2011/77/EU on the term of protection for sound recordings, which was agreed in Brussels in late 2011.

    The Government has welcomed the views of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on this area of work, and is considering its recommendations.

    Policy decisions on other issues covered by the consultation - including the Government’s plans to modernise copyright through changes to the UK’s copyright exceptions and the proposed copyright notices scheme - will be set out in a subsequent document later this year. Announcements on other work undertaken in response to the Hargreaves Review will be made separately.

June 2012

  • Consultation on Copyright: Summary of responses published

    Today, Thursday 14 June 2012, the Government published a summary of responses PDF document(440Kb) received during its consultation on Copyright. The Government received 471 responses from interested parties.

    This document is a summary of what respondents to the Consultation have said on each of the proposals. It is purely a factual document, and does not contain any policy decisions or announcements.

    Decisions as a result of the consultation will be announced as soon as possible.

    The Government had planned to publish the full set of responses alongside its summary. However, in the course of reviewing the responses received, it has become clear that a number of respondents have advanced criticisms of the activities of others in the sector, and the Government is reviewing the submissions to establish there is no potentially defamatory material in anything it may publish. Once these issues are resolved the Government will publish as many responses as it is able to do without the risk of legal recourse.

    The Government would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to the Consultation.

March 2012

  • Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

    Today, 27 March 2012, Richard Hooper published Rights and Wrongs: is copyright licensing fit for purpose for the digital age? - Phase 1 report PDF document(954Kb) on the Digital Copyright Exchange.
  • Copyright Consultation closes

    The consultation on copyright closed on 21 March 2012. The Government will publish an analysis of responses within 3 months of this date.

February 2012

  • Notes of Copyright Consultation Events published

    If you would like an update on what's been going on at our events we have now started to publish readouts of the meetings.

January 2012

  • Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

    The Digital Copyright Exchange (DCE) feasibility study will consider options for developing a functional digital market in rights clearance and a source of information about rights ownership, as recommended by the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth and accepted by the Government.

December 2011

  • Copyright consultation

    Today, 14 December 2011, Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, launched a Government consultation seeking views on the Government’s proposals for implementing a number of the recommendations, relating to Copyright, it accepted in its response to the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth.

    For further information, please read the press release issued on 14 December.

November 2011

  • Richard Hooper to lead Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study

    Business Secretary Vince Cable announces the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange in the UK.

    Read more about Richard's appointment.