Concerns Grow Over Copyright Exemption Plans

Concern is mounting over plans to introduce a new far reaching copyright exception which content creators fear will have a “severe negative impact” on UK rights holders such as news media publishers.

In a letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the News Media Association joined bodies in the Publishers Content Forum to express profound alarm over the plans which the group believes will lead to businesses exiting the UK market.

The group said: “We believe that the government’s decision to create a broad copyright exception will seriously undermine the UK’s intellectual property framework, conflict with international law, and will unintentionally provide international rights holders and non-UK based research organisations with a competitive advantage.

The signatories of the letter are the Publishers Association, Publishers’ Licensing Services, the Publishers Association, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers, Independent Publishers Guild, NLA Media Access, Press Database and Licensing Network, and the Professional Publishers Association

The group added: “The exception proposed will have a severe negative impact on UK rights holders and will create an unfairness that benefits those using content for purposes of TDM. The immediate consequences of the exception will be that, without the ability to license and receive payment for the use of their data and content, certain businesses will have no choice but to exit the UK market or apply paywalls where access to content is currently free.

“The UK’s world-leading copyright framework is fundamental to the success of the UK publishing industry, as well as the wider creative economy. It empowers people and businesses from across the country to invest in and create a wealth of different products, from novels to academic journals, from databases to newspapers. We welcome the government’s acknowledgment of the strength of that framework and its commitment to maintaining its status.”

The News Media Association has previously joined a broad alliance of organizations representing photographers, music publishers, filmmakers, libraries, magazines, the Premier League, and the NMA representing news media to express profound concerns over the plans.