April 03, 2014

Lord Younger's response to ORG's Parody and Format Shifting Campaign

Lord Younger sent ORG this letter in response to our recent campaign on copyright, parody and format shifting.

Original letter as a PDF

The Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Intellectual Property
1 Victoria Street

2nd April 2014

Dear Mr Killock


The Government has recently received a substantial number of emails and letters from individuals and organisations, expressing support for the introduction of a new “fair dealing" exception to copyright for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche and calling for the regulations to be implemented as soon as possible. Many of these letters and emails also expressed support for the creation of a private copying exception to allow actions such as format shifting of music for personal use.

A significant number of these submissions have no doubt resulted from the campaign hosted by the Open Rights Group. As you will know, the Government has now submitted the regulations making these changes (plus several others) for consideration by both Houses of Parliament. lf Parliament approves the regulations, the changes will come into effect from 1 June 2014.

It has been encouraging to hear from so many who share the Government’s commitment to these updates to copyright law. The change to allow some instances of parody using copyright material reflects the Government's commitment to freedom of expression and the benefits it will bring to a diverse range of groups, from broadcasters and production companies, to campaigners and amateur creators. The parallel provision to allow some personal copying recognises that copyright should not unduly restrict private actions where they cause no harm to the Rerights holder, especially when those actions are widely considered acceptable, and enhance the enjoyment and demand for creative works.

The Open Rights Group and its supporters may be interested to see the plain English guides to explain the nature of these changes to copyright law and answer key questions. The guidance for Creators and Copyright Owners covers the exception for caricature, parody or pastiche and is available as a free download from the Intellectual Property Office website at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copyright-guidance-creatorsowners.pdf

The guidance for Consumers covers the new exception for personal copying, and is also available at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/copyright-guidance-consumers.pdf

I hope you will make this letter available to your supporters.

Yours sincerely,
James Younger