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UK readies for new exemptions to copyright



Emma Barraclough, London


A range of copyright law exceptions come into force in the UK tomorrow, making it legal for consumers to copy CDs on to MP3 players and protecting makers of parodies from accusations of copyright infringement

The new rules clarify that people can format shift copies of media they have bought, as long as it is for their own use, and that companies can legally sell technology that enables individuals to make private copies.

A new exception to copyright for parody will allow the limited use of copyright material without the permission of the copyright holder, as long as the use is deemed fair and proportionate.

The Intellectual Property Act 2014, which comes into force tomorrow, will also make it a criminal offence to intentionally copy a registered design. This controversial measure was much debated by IP owners and politicians before it became law.

Other changes to the UK’s IP regime coming into force tomorrow include new protections for pre-publication academic research; the introduction of new rules allowing IP owners to add a web address to their product to inform consumers about its patent status; the expansion of the UK IPO’s patent opinions service; and the promotion of international patent work sharing programmes to cut backlogs.


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