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Victory for digital rights as UK Government publishes changes to copyright law

The UK’s out-of-date copyright law came closer to being fit for purpose yesterday, when the Government published regulations for copyright exceptions. They include exceptions for parody, personal copying, text mining, research and education. If the Regulations are approved by the House of Commons and House of Lords, they will become law on June 1, 2014.

The announcement is a victory for digital rights campaigners, the Open Rights Group, who have been calling for changes to copyright law since 2005. 

Executive Director Jim Killock said:

“These changes are important for both free speech and consumer rights.  They mean that people will no longer be infringing copyright when they make personal copies of their own music, films and books. Nor will they have to break the law if they contribute to our rich online culture of advert, film and music parodies. The important thing now is for MPs and Peers to say yes to the regulations and bring the UK’s copyright laws up to date and in line with most other European countries.”

Two government reviews, the 2006 Gowers Review and the 2011 Hargreaves Review recommended that exceptions for format shifting and parody were introduced. An Open Rights Group campaign righttoparody.org.uk put pressure on the government to introduce these exceptions, with over 1400 people signing a petition. Last week, Open Rights Group supporters sent 350 emails to Vince Cable and Lord Younger urging them not to delay reform any further.

For further information, please contact Pam Cowburn: pam@openrightsgroup.org