United Kingdom

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Legislation and Materials

The UK implementation of the EUCD is encompassed by two Acts of the UK parliament and two Statutory Instruments. The Acts are: the Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences and Enforcement) Act 2002 (html) (act in PDF, Notes) and the Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 (html) (PDF). The Statutory Instruments are: Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 2498; The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 and Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 2499 (C. 93); The Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 (Commencement) Order 2003. SI 2499 simply brings the relevant Act into force and is therefore not particularly of interest.

Gowers Review of Intellectual Property, December 2006

Peer Collaboration

(a) Private Copying Exception in General

The UK copyright law does not contain a private copying exception (cf. Art. 5(2)b EUCD). In December 2006 the Gowers Report of Intellectual Property Review has recommended to introduce such an exception: the authors argued that a balanced copyright regime needs to address reasonable interests of consumers that do not damage the interests of the rightholders. The example of such a legitimate use of consumers is format shifzing of legitimately purchased content (e.g. a mp3 version of a song.). For a detailed explanation see Gowers Review of Intellectual Property

Universal Access

(a) Exceptions for Archives and Libraries

The UK Copyright Act does not mention non- profit museums and galleries in Sections 37-44A CDPA although these institutions can serve the same purposes as libraries and archives. Art. 5(2)c EUCD would allow to privilege a broader group of institutions. Also, artistic works are not covered under the library exceptions in the CDPA.

Furthermore the UK Copyright Act does not contain an exception of making digital works available on the premises of libraries and archives as envisioned in Art. 5(3)n EUCD.

(b) Exceptions for Disabled people

(Contribution from Johanna Gibson)

In the UK, the Copyight (Visually Impaired Persons) Act 2002 inserted sections 31A to 31F into the CDPA. This allows copies of certain things to be made to enable a visually-impaired person to use a work. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) imposed certain obligations on employers and others to make provision for disabled people. However, satisfying these obligations is unlikely to allow someone to infringe copyright (although it may be possible in some limited circumstances to argue that section 50 (acts done under statutory authority) exempts the conduct - but this is exceptionally unlikely).

Regarding technical measures, sections 31A to 31C are included in Schedule 5A of the CDPA and therefore they are permitted acts to which section 296ZE applies (i.e. those for which the SoS can order a scheme to be adopted to enable access where TPM are in place, where the right holder does not enter a voluntary agreement - this implements Article 6(4) of the Info Soc Directive).