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UK copyright exceptions under fire


The UK government could face a legal challenge over its plans to give consumers more freedom to use copyright material

A consortium of IP owners including Associated Press, Getty Images and Reuters wrote to business secretary Vince Cable earlier this month to urge him to rethink proposals to widen exceptions in the UK’s copyright laws. The proposals, announced just four days before Christmas, are part of the government’s response to recommendations made by Ian Hargreaves in his report on intellectual property and growth.

The IP owners, who call themselves the International Media & Archive Consortium, have three key concerns. The first is that widening exceptions to copyright will remove opportunities for creators to be paid for their work. Another proposal to shorten the life of copyright will have the same effect, they say. Although they acknowledge that government intends this shortening of copyright to apply only to old content to enable its digitisation, they say...


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