Private Copying – Copyright Relaxation on the Way?


It might well be a surprise to many, but when your child comes home from school with a bag brimming with photocopies, it might also be a bag full of copyright violations.
Similarly, copying a CD, which you have already bought, onto your MP3 player is also a breach of the copyright of the artist.
Faced with law which is ignored on such a vast scale, the Government has accepted many of the recommendations of a 2006 report on the reform of copyright law and has started a consultative process with a view to allowing limited private copying for non-commercial use of copyrighted material.
It is too early in the process to outline what form such a relaxation might take, but one possibility is that the copying technology itself may incorporate a licence or it could be that persons wishing to make private copies must hold a licence.
There is no suggestion that multiple copying or file-sharing is likely to be made lawful. The consultation closes on 8 April 2008.
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Partner Note
The Gower review of copyright was published in 2006.

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