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Friday, February 13th, 2015

Legal update – Copyright

We have received this update on legal issues regarding Copyright from legal expert Sandy Adirondack (on 9th February 2015).

Copyright: Statutory changes

In effect now:

  • Performance rights in sound performances extended from 50 to 70 years.
  • Exception for private copying extended to include format shifting for personal use and making copies for backup and storage. Plus: judicial review of the government’s introduction of this exception without providing fair compensation for songwriters, composers and musicians.
  • Changes to exception for quotations.
  • New exception for caricature, parody and pastiche.
  • Exception for making accessible copies for disabled people no longer limited to visually impaired people and people who need subtitled broadcasts.
  • Exception for making copies for research and private study extended to include sound recordings, films and broadcasts, and to include computational analysis (text and data mining).
  • Exceptions for education and teaching extended to include “illustration for instruction” (whiteboards, presentations etc), and using broadcasts on distance learning technology.
  • Exceptions for libraries and archives extended to cover museums and galleries, and to allow material to be made available for research or private study on dedicated terminals on their premises.
  • Exception for public bodies extended to allow copyright material they hold to be made available online.
  • Introduction of copyright licensing for “orphan works”, where the copyright holder is unknown or cannot be found.
  • Obligation to provide every publication to the British Library and, on request, other legal deposit libraries extended to include non-print publications (employers with under 10 employees exempt from this requirement).
  • Tightening of rules on codes of practice for copyright licensing bodies.

In the pipeline:

  • Introduction of extended collective licensing, to cover copyright holders who have not opted in to being covered by a copyright licensing body.
  • Consultation on implementation of the EU Collective Rights Management Directive.
  • Dealing with historic unpublished works whose copyright runs out in 2039.
  • International treaty on the protection of audiovisual performances.

Copyright: General guidance

Copyright notices: A new series of short, practical briefings on copyright issues. The first four are on digital images, photographs and the internet; assignment of copyright; performance of live music; and knitting and sewing patterns.


Intellectual property enterprise court

Renaming of the patents court to show that it covers all aspects of intellectual property, plus other recent court reforms.

Further Information

For more updates on legal issues affecting voluntary and community organisations visit Sandy Adirondack’s website: