Simpsons Solicitors

UK Releases Hargreaves Report

August 4th 2011

The much-anticipated Hargreaves Review report on intellectual property reform has been released in the UK, with some media describing its recommendations as ‘radical reform’ and others saying it did not go far enough.

Some of the changes recommended in the Hargreaves report will be a non-event from Australia’s perspective, as they are already enshrined in our national copyright legislation:

• Legislation to allow format shifting for personal use (e.g. CDs to digital music players and computers)
• An exception to infringement in the case of parody of copyright works

Other recommendations break new ground:

• The creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange
• Legislation to allow the licensing of orphan works

The review was announced by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, in November 2010, with review recommendations due in April 2011. Professor Ian Hargreaves (Cardiff University) was appointed as chair.

Cameron pointed to the ‘fair use’ copyright provisions in the United States as a possible model for reform, saying: “Over there, they have what are called ‘fair use’ provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services.”

Some Internet groups welcomed Cameron’s announcement, saying it would provide an opportunity to redress the balance between copyright owner and user interests set by the Digital Economy Act of 2010 (which underpins the introduction of a system of ‘graduated response’ by ISPs, to prevent online copyright infringement). Other commentators accused the Government of being too much in the thrall of major IT corporations such as Google and Facebook.

To read more about this story go to: http://www.copyright.org.au/news-and-policy/details/id/1954/

To read the report, click here.

For inquiries relating to publishing and copyright law please contact Adam Simpson.