UK copyright law ‘abject failure’ for information access

What we can see online tends to depend on copyright laws.  These do vary.  How much they vary has been highlighted by a new report, which evaluated them for fitness for purpose. 

The UK law was a surprise failure, because of some of its unique ‘features’, because it has been allowed to become out of date, and because it has been too influenced by publishing industry lobbying. reports:

The UK was the only country to be given an overall ‘F’ score by the report. All the other countries were rated between A and D. “‘A’ to ‘D’ rates how well the country in question observes consumers’ interests in its national copyright law and enforcement practices. ‘F’ is assigned if the country abjectly fails to observe those interests,” said the report. 

“UK copyright law is substantially different from that of other countries,” said the report. “Copyright is treated as property right…and hence copyright owners have the right to decide whether and how the copyrighted work is used.”

“There are no fair use exceptions in UK law, only some limited permitted acts. There is no provision that may be termed “private copying” exception and UK copyright law does not distinguish between private or corporate copyright infringement.  

All of which makes authoring a website in the UK risky for those who live there, and thereby stifles initiative.  The report authors are part government funded.


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