UK Copyright reforms set to become Law: Content-mining, parody and much more

I have been so busy over the last few days and the world has changed so much that I haven’t managed to blog one of the most significant news – the UK government has tables its final draft on the review of copyright. See .
This is fantastic. It is set to reform scientific knowledge. It means that scientific Facts can be extracted and published without explicit permission. The new law will give us that. I’m going to comment on detail on the content-mining legislation, but a few important general comments:

  • UK is among the world leaders here. I understand Ireland is following, and the EU process will certainly be informed by UK. Let’s make it work so well and so valuably that it will transform the whole world.
  • This draft still has to be ratified before it becomes law on June 1st. It’s very likely to happen but could be derailed by (a) Cameron deciding to go to war (b) the LibDems split from the government (c) freak storms destroy Parliament (d) content-holder lobbyists kill the bill in underhand ways.
  • It’s not just about content-mining. It’s about copying for private re-use (e.g. CD to memory stick), and parody. Reading the list of new exceptions make you realise how restrictive the law has become. Queen Anne in 1710 ( didn’t even  consider format shifting between technologies.  And e-books for disabled people??

So here’s guidance for the main issues in simple language:

and here are the details (I’ll be analysing the “data analytics” in detail in a later post):

And here’s the initial announcement – includes URLs to the IPO and government pages.

From: CopyrightConsultation
Sent: 27 March 2014 15:06
To: CopyrightConsultation
Subject: Exceptions to copyright law – Update following Technical Review
The Government has today laid before Parliament the final draft of the Exceptions to Copyright regulations. This is an important step forward in the Government’s plan to modernise copyright for the digital age. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your response to the technical review and to tell you about the outcome of this process and documents that have been published.
As you will recall, the technical review ran from June to September 2013 and you were invited to review the draft legislation at an early stage and to provide comments on whether it achieved the policy objectives, as set out in Modernising Copyright in December 2012.
We found the technical review to be a particularly valuable process. Over 140 organisations and individuals made submissions and we engaged with a wide range of stakeholders before and after the formal consultation period. The team at the IPO have also worked closely with Government and Parliamentary lawyers to finalise the regulations.
No policy changes have been made, but as a result of this process we have made several alterations to the format and drafting of the legislation. To explain these changes, and the thinking behind them, the Government has published its response to the technical review alongside the regulations. This document sets out the issues that were raised by you and others, the response and highlights where amendments have been made.
It is common practice for related regulations such as these to be brought forward as a single statutory instrument. However, the Government is committed to enabling the greatest possible scrutiny of these changes and the nine regulations have been laid before parliament in five groups.  In deciding how to group the regulations, we have taken account of several factors, including any relevant legal interconnections and common themes. The rationale behind these groupings is set out in the Explanatory Memorandum.
The Government has also produced a set of eight ‘plain English’ guides that explain what the changes mean for different sectors. The guides explain the nature of these changes to copyright law and answer key questions, including many raised during the Government’s consultation process.  The guides cover areas including disability groups, teachers, researchers, librarians, creators, rights-holders and consumers. They also explain what users can and cannot do with copyright material.
The response to the Technical Review and the guidance can be accessed through the IPO’s website: <>.  This also provides links to the final draft regulations, explanatory memorandum and associated documents that appear on<>.
It is now for Parliament to consider the regulations, which will be subject to affirmative resolution in both Houses. If Parliament approves the regulations they will come into force on 1 June 2014.
Thank you again for your contribution.
Yours sincerely,
John Alty

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