The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published the responses to a consultation it launched at the end of 2011 that related to reform of the UK’s copyright regime. The consultation included proposals for:
- “data mining” to be excepted from copyright infringement; data mining is the use of technology to review and extract useful information from large amounts of data; and
- the legalisation of the use of copyrighted work in pastiche or parody.
The current law prevents researchers from using certain software for data mining in journal articles unless the copyright holder has given their consent, and that law applies whether or not the researcher has paid for access to that article already. The proposed changes to the law have brought “strongly divided” views from across the industry.
The responses in relation to the legalisation of the use of copyrighted material for pastiche or parody were also mixed, with the main argument against being that this sector is already thriving, such that it should pay its fair share for the works that it used.
The IPO also reported mixed responses on proposals to allow libraries and museums to copy material in out-of-date formats for preservation purposes, the copying of protected work into new formats for educational purposes and the allowance for increased use of orphan works, which have no identifiable owner.