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Register doubts Cameron’s Google claim

By | Published on Thursday 22 March 2012


As the UK Intellectual Property Office’s copyright consultation came to a close yesterday, The Register has thrown doubt onto the anecdote that arguably instigated the government’s latest intellectual property law review.

As previously reported, the latest copyright consultation stems from last year’s Hargreaves Review of IP laws, which in turn was seemingly motivated by something the bosses of Google told David Cameron – that their web company could never have launched in the UK because of the country’s copyright regime, and in particular the fact the English ‘fair dealing’ system provides fewer exemptions for using copyright material than American’s ‘fair use’ provisions.

Now, many in the copyright industries weren’t especially happy that a moan from Google had instigated a whole review of copyright law, just five years after the last review conducted by Andrew Gowers for the previous Labour government, not to mention the 2009 ‘Digital Britain’ report that also considered copyright matters. But now, according to The Register, it looks like Cameron was responding to a non-moan.

The website reckons that, while Google has repeated the “we couldn’t have launched here” line since Cameron told the story, no one from the web firm had made that claim before the PM. Making some wonder exactly what really did instigate the latest copyright review.

Read The Register piece here.

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