27 November 2014Copyright

UK music industry takes action over government piracy plans

The UK’s music industry has filed legal action against new copyright legislation that allows people to make personal copies of legally purchased music.

Industry groups The Musicians’ Union, the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors ( BASCA), and UK Music have filed for a  judicial review of the legislation, which introduced  several exceptions to existing copyright law.

The government-led changes, which came into force on October 1, saw the scrapping of a provision that made it illegal for people to download a legally-purchased CD onto a laptop, smartphone or MP3 player.

They also brought into force a provision enabling the use of copyright protected works for parody.

In the judicial review, submitted to the English High Court, representatives of the music industry argue that the changes are out-of-step with EU law that requires fair compensation for right holders and that they should be compensated for potential lost sales.

In a statement on BASCA’s website published yesterday (November 26), it said the decision not to provide fair compensation is in “stark contrast” to the vast majority of countries in Europe that have introduced private copying exceptions.

Vick Bain, chief executive of BASCA, said: “We fully support the right of the consumer to copy legally bought music for their own personal and private use, but there must be fair compensation for the creators of the music.”

During the judicial review, the court will examine the government’s decision to ensure it was made in a lawful way. The request was filed at the Administrative Court, a division of the English High Court.

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More on this story

22 June 2015   The English High Court has ordered a judicial review of the UK government’s change to copyright law that made it legal for people to make copies of copyright protected material.