Fair dealing under review – Change at last?
In recent years UK copyright law has been under the microscope by successive governments – is it fit for purpose in the age of Web 2.0, developments in ePublishing, online piracy and Google.
One area that has received attention is the so called copyright exceptions which include various fair dealing exceptions. These allow a work to be copied even though this would be copyright infringement e.g. the fair dealing exceptions for criticism or review and news reporting. Publishers and authors frequently rely on these exceptions.
The UK Government plans changes to these exceptions in 2014 with a range of new exceptions and amendments to the existing law e.g. fair dealing for the purposes of parody, and for "quotation", and a data mining exception, among others.
It is also intended that publishers will not be able to use restrictive digital licensing contracts to prevent users exercising fair dealing and other rights. Once these exceptions are in force publishers will need to revisit their licences and licensing policies and reassess how they use the fair dealing and other copyright exceptions in their businesses.