The UK government has now given the go-ahead to the major reforms proposed by the Hargreaves committee. http://news.bis.gov.uk/Press-Releases/Consumers-given-more-copyright-freedom-68542.aspx . The message is now very simple:
THE UK GOVERNMENT SAYS IT'S LEGAL TO MINE CONTENT FOR THE PURPOSES OF NON-COMMERCIAL RESEARCH
Business Secretary, Vince Cable said:
"Making the intellectual property framework fit for the 21st century is not only common sense but good business sense. Bringing the law into line with ordinary people's reasonable expectations will boost respect for copyright, on which our creative industries rely.
"We feel we have struck the right balance between improving the way consumers benefit from copyright works they have legitimately paid for, boosting business opportunities and protecting the rights of creators."
In his review of intellectual property and growth, Professor Hargreaves made the case for the UK making greater use of these exceptions, which are allowed under EU law. In response to a consultation earlier this year, the Government will make changes to:
- Data analytics for non-commercial research - to allow non-commercial researchers to use computers to study published research results and other data without copyright law interfering;
These changes could contribute at least £500m to the UK economy over 10 years, and perhaps much more from reduced costs, increased competition and by making copyright works more valuable.
In addition the Government will introduce a new, non-statutory system for clarifying areas where there is confusion or misunderstanding on the scope and application of copyright law. Copyright notices will issued by the Intellectual Property Office. These notices are intended to clarify, but not make new law.
It makes it clear that publishers cannot set licence terms that override this.
New measures include provisions to allow copying of works for individuals' own personal use, parody and for the purposes of quotation. They allow people to use copyright works for a variety of valuable purposes without permission from the copyright owners. They will also bring up to date existing exceptions for education, research and the preservation of materials.
We can start content-mining today (and we shall).
Copyright is complex and some of the questions are not easy to answer. So there is a provision for copyright-holders to appeal to the Secretary of State if they don't like it. If publishers can convince Vince Cable that my activities are a threat to the health of the UK economy I'll stop.
So everyone should adopt the principle:
If you have a right to the content you have a right to mine it
You DON'T have to ask permission.
What about non-UK people? Just come and visit us here! You will then be governed by the law of the UK. And we'd love to see you.