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December 04, 2013 | Jim Killock

Lord Younger promises right to parody

We received a reply from Lord Younger today, who is the minister responsible for copyright reform. He says that the government plans to legislate for all the copyright changes in the New Year, including parody.


lord_younger_cc-by-nd-bisgovuk.jpgLord Younger's letter to ORG is here in reply to our letter

Thank you to everyone who signed our petitions, gave evidence or wrote to Lord Younger and the IPO on parody. We haven’t won yet, but Lord Younger has made a public commitment to keep this in the mix.

These changes are ultimately sensible and relatively modest, although that hasn't stopped them from being controversial. They emerged from the Hargreaves Review, which was labelled by opponents from big content lobby groups as weakening copyright and helping Google rather than UK firms.

Content lobby groups such as the BPI have argued – and as far as we know, continue to argue – against format shifting without a 'levy', against data mining without licenses, and against parody rights as creating a loss of control for creators.

However, the changes as a whole will strengthen copyright. They do this by making the system fairer and more flexible, which makes copyright more legitimate and less open to abuse. 

As a reminder, the copyright changes include:

  • A new right to format shift (ie, copy your CDs to your computer or iPod)

  • A new right to make caricature, parody or pastiche

  • A new right for quotation

  • A new non-commercial data mining right

And then changes to the

  • Exception for Public Administration

  • Exceptions for Education

  • Exceptions for Research, Libraries and Archives

  • Exceptions for people with disabilities

(“Exceptions” is the legal language used for what we would think of as user rights - they are “exceptions” to the rule of having to ask the copright holder).

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