Keeping up with copyright

A few weeks ago we blogged about the Digital Property Exchange which was proposed by the Hargreaves Review and is likely to be developed by the Government in the near future. On Wednesday the Government published a consultation document outlining its further proposals to develop the UK copyright system. The aim of the review and this following consultation paper is to try and update the copyright laws and drag them into the 21st century.

The proposals include:

  • Making it legal to copy CDs to an MP3 player (which in theory is currently breach of copyright);
  • Establishing licensing for material with unknown copyright owners (see blog on the Digital Copyright Exchange);
  • Extended collective licensing that would allow “collecting societies” to licence on behalf of all rights holders;
  • Copyright exceptions such as: private copying; research and private study; copyright works to be copied for the purpose of text and data mining for non-commercial research.

Without adversely affecting the creative industry, these proposed developments should provide new business opportunities for both companies that create intellectual property that they are do not use themselves and companies that do not have the research and development resources to create their own intellectual property.

The consultation will close on 21 March 2012. Please look out for our summary and advice in the days to following so that you and your business can be one of the first to take advantage of the new rules and regulations. For more information on copyright and intellectual property issues please contact our Corporate and Commercial Department who will be happy to help on 0845 0738 445 or at