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Rights industries pre-empt fair use report with ‘Licensing UK’

By | Published on Tuesday 4 December 2012


A coalition of trade bodies representing rights owners, including many of the music industry’s trade organisations, will today publish proposals for alternative ways to deal with the copyright issues currently being considered by government in the wake of last year’s Hargreaves Review.

Much of the review of copyright led by Ian Hargreaves focused on so called fair use provisions (or fair dealing to use the English law term), ie statutory exemptions that allow users, in certain circumstances, to copy or perform a copyright work without the permission of the rights owner.

The UK copyright system has less such provisions than in many other jurisdictions, and Hargreaves recommended introducing more fair use exemptions into British copyright law. A consultation on those proposals took place earlier this year, and the Intellectual Property Office is expected to publish a report on the matter later this month, which will likely lead to legislation altering copyright law.

Pre-empting that report, the rights industries are making their own alternative proposals under the title ‘Licensing UK’, which will likely suggest that rather than creating new exemptions when the public can use copyright works without permission (and therefore without paying any royalty), the rights industries could set up a quick, simple and cost effective licensing framework, which would likewise make it easier for people to make use of works in certain scenarios, while still giving the rights owner an element of control, and certainly a right to recompense.

More information about the proposals, which are being shared with the IPO and the Secretary Of State For Business, Innovation & Skills, Vince Cable, today, will be posted online by PRS For Music at