Copyright in the Digital Age

Still the bedrock of creativity and the creative industries

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●     New EU Copyright Act takes another step

●     Filesharing highlights collision of free speech and copyright

●     Introduction to Collective Licensing seminars

●     Brexit and the realpolitik of trade agreements

●     Three post graduate bursaries in copyright

●     Orphan Works Database given user approval

●     Seven-year-olds given copyright lessons to curb online piracy

●     Why Europe’s New Copyright Proposals Are Bad News for the Internet

●     ‘EU copyright legislation will not change in UK after Brexit’ argues Kaye

●     EU copyright reform proposals “sensible” say publishers

●     Publishers stress importance of Robust Copyright Regime Post Brexit

●     Congratulations to Dr. Aislinn O’Connell

●     Fit for Change? Copyright for Publishers in the Digital Age – Abstract/Intro

●     Copyright thesis – Chapter 1 Literature Review

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 2 – A Historical investigation of copyright

●     Copyright Thesis Chapter 3 – Legal Investigation

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 4 – Blocking initiatives

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 5 – Copyright and the UK Economy

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 6 – The Hargreaves Exceptions

●     Copyright thesis Chapter 7 – Alternative approaches

●     Copyright thesis – Conclusions

●     Index, List of Abbreviations, Tables of Cases & Legislation, Bibliography, Appendices 1&2

●     World Book and Copyright Day

●     EU’s new action plan for copyright and digital platforms

●     Google News Leaves Spain

●     Exceptions impact on business: air your views on 20 October 2014

●     Last Copyright Exceptions Come Into Force Today

●     Copyright and the UK Economy

●     Copyright Briefing – July 14

●     Culture of the Public Domain – A Good Thing?

●     An Employment Focus on the Creative Industries

●     Copyright exceptions back on track

●     Exceptions Update

●     LBF14 – Day 2

●     LBF14 – Day 1

●     New Director for Copyright and Enforcement Speaks

●     Copyright and the Future of Global Content Industries

●     Commons Committee warns against diluting IP rights

●     CLSG Launch Report: Streamlining Copyright Licensing for the Digital Age

●     IPso FACTo debate at Stationers Company

●     Publishers Launch Global Exchange on Copyright

●     Funding given to kick-start Copyright Hub

●     IPO thoughts on copyright and the economic effects of parody

●     Modernising copyright – February 2013

●     Stationers and UCL in joint copyright research initiative for communications and content industries

●     Government publishes proposals for changes to UK copyright

●     Stationers offer bursary to copyright research student

●     Hooper recommends UK Copyright Hub

●     Copyright adds extra £3 billion to national accounts

●     Hargreaves warned on damaging UK creative industries

IPO thoughts on copyright and the economic effects of parody

The Intellectual Property Office has developed a useful research page with its latest publications which include :

1. Evaluating the impact of parody on the exploitation of copyright works:

The status of parody and related derivative works within the UK copyright framework lacks clarity and has been recommended for further policy study in two recent independent reviews: the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property in 2006 and the more recent Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth published in 2011. This recent review highlights the dual importance of parodic works, both as a form of cultural expression and as a potential source of innovation and growth. A key recommendation of Hargreaves is for the UK to introduce a new fair dealing copyright exception for parody, caricature and pastiche. However, a shortage of empirical data renders policy intervention in this area difficult. The issue is complicated by the inherently creative nature of parody, ambiguity about its definition and the multiplicity of economic and legal approaches that may be applied.

2. The Treatment of Parodies Under Copyright Law in Seven Jurisdictions:

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Parody as ‘an imitation of the style of a particular writer, artist, or genre with deliberate exaggeration for comic effect’. It further explains Caricature as ‘a grotesque usually comically exaggerated representation especially of a person; ridiculously poor imitation or version’; and Pastiche as ‘an artistic work in a style that imitates that of another work, artist, or period’. Other terms used for related cultural practices, and recognised under some copyright regimes, are Satire (‘the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues’) and Burlesque (‘an absurd or comically exaggerated imitation of something, especially in a literary or dramatic work’). In a 2008 Consultation Paper on copyright exceptions , the UK government recognised that whilst these terms may have different connotations and meanings, they “all include an element of imitation, and may incorporate, to a greater or lesser extent, elements of the original work. The whole point of these types of works is that they should ‘conjure up’ the original work upon which they are based”. Thus parodic treatment, almost by definition, involves a taking of substance, since, if the object of parody cannot be recognised, the parody fails. The doctrinal base of UK copyright law here poses a particular risk for the development of parodies. The general test for copyright infringement, under section 16(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (hereinafter CDPA 1988) is the taking of the work “as a whole or any substantial part of it”. Increasingly the courts have found the meaning of ‘substantial part’ in the independent skill and labour of the original author, not in the use to which a work is put.

3. Copyright and the Economic Effects of Parody: Report 3 (638Kb)

Many countries, both inside the European Union and in the common law tradition (Australia, Canada and USA), afford special treatment to parody (and related cultural practices, such as caricature, pastiche, satire and burlesque) within their copyright laws. Under EU Law, a specific copyright exception ‘for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche’ is possible within Article 5(3) of the 2001 Information Society Directive. The UK does not explicitly recognise parody as a copyright issue. In fact, the doctrinal base of UK copyright law poses a particular risk. The general test for copyright infringement, under section 16(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (hereinafter CDPA 1988) is the taking of the work “as a whole or any substantial part of it”. Parodic treatment, almost by definition, involves a taking of substance, since, if the object of parody cannot be recognised,the parody fails.

The UK Courts only once considered a fair dealing defence in the context of parody (section 30(1) CDPA 1988), and the wider public interest defence (section 171(3) CDPA 1988) has yet to be invoked successfully. The Hargreaves Review (2011) recommended that ‘Government should firmly resist over-regulation of activities which do not prejudice the central objective of copyright, namely the provision of incentives to creators’. Hargreaves argued that using the full range of exceptions ‘will reduce transaction costs and stimulate new works in growing sectors of the creative economy’ [5.36]. The Review also asserted that, in the digital context, video parody specifically ‘encourages literacy in multimedia expressions in ways that are increasingly essential to the skills base of the economy’ [5.35]. This research assesses the policy options regarding the introduction of a parody exception in several steps.

4. Private copying

This study was commissioned by the UK IPO to collect data on whether and how four copyright industries – music, film, publishing and software – have (or not) adopted private copying measures, and on whether the price of the products in the UK reflect a right to private copying.

© Copyright in the Digital Age