Photo Attorney

Mar 3, 2009

UK Rejects Proposal To Expand Copyright Law For "Mashups"

As reported by Out-Law.com, the UK government will not revise its copyright law after reviewing research results in a consultation paper (see page 10) published by the European Commission (EC) on copyright reform. In sum, the EC paper considered the possibility of creating new use exemptions to address the increased creation of "user-created content" (UGC), also known as "mashups," made easier by technological innovations.

But the UK government rejects any proposed change, noting that "many [copyright] stakeholders take the view that the copyright framework already provides a comprehensive list of 'rules' as to what can and cannot be done with works which are protected by copyright" (often referred to as "fair use"). The UK government also expressed its concern about "the extent to which such an exemption might allow others to use the works in a way that the existing rights holders do not approve of and the impact that exemptions in this area might have on remuneration." The government instead encourages new licensing models (such as the Creative Commons licensing models) to allow for such uses. As the government explained, "it is important to consider carefully the potential impact on existing rights holders, in terms of both commercial and non commercial UGC."

Good thinking!