Copyright Law Updates | New Proposed Legislation
July 2, 2012
UK Agency Announces Legislation to Modernize the Country’s Copyright Licensing System
UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
No. _____, 7/2/2012
The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced new legislation to update the UK’s copyright licensing system, “to help strengthen the system and boost its contribution to the economy and society.”
New clauses to be included in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill would:
- allow the creation of a future ‘orphan works’ scheme to open access to valuable material that currently can’t be licensed or used
- put in place a voluntary regime for extending collective licensing to help reduce complexities in the system
- reserve a power to introduce statutory codes of conduct for collecting societies if they fail to operate to minimum standards.
Business Minister Norman Lamb said:
“It is vital that we make the most of our creative industries, boosting their contribution to the economy while ensuring protection of the rights holders. The copyright licensing system has been behind the times and we need to modernize and make it fit for the 21st century.
“The measures we plan to introduce as soon as possible would make it easier for those seeking access to, and use of, copyrighted works. Freeing up so-called ‘orphan works’ will allow use of works for the first time, making the most of untapped economic and creative potential. Extending licensing arrangements for collective societies, whilst ensuring rights holders are protected, will also help maximize the benefit for the UK’s world-class creative industries.”
In addition, the Government plans to introduce a power to implement a recent EU Directive on the term of protection for sound recordings in a way that keeps the UK’s current strong criminal penalties for copyright infringement.
The draft clauses will be published later and will be subject to scrutiny as part of the Bill’s progress through Parliament. These measures were developed by Government in response to recommendations from the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property, which was published in August 2011.
Harnessing the value and making the most of the UK’s intellectual property is a vital element of a vibrant and modern economy. The measures outlined today will form an important part of the Government’s growth strategy, making sure the UK is one of the best places to start, finance and grow a business.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) and is responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trade marks and copyright.
Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.
It operates in a national and an international environment and its work is governed by national and international law, including various international treaties relating to Intellectual Property (IP) to which the United Kingdom is a party.
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