England is to take the lead from America in implementing more lenient copyrighting laws, David Cameron has announced. In an apparent move away from the strict copyrighting laws, which have dominated our country’s internet usage for so long, Cameron has voiced concerns that these have in fact been to the detriment of business creativity. Good news for entrepreneurs? Perhaps.
Apparently, this issue has arisen after American creators of Google and Facebook had exclusively told the government that English laws surrounding copyrighting would simply not have allowed their innovations to take off. This is thanks to America’s ‘fair use’ provisions which allow some copyrighted material to be used without the holder’s permission, subject to such ‘fair use’ conditions being satisfied. Cameron made clear this was an attempt to ensure the law was kept relevant and fitting to a changing society and said such reviews of IP laws must be made ’to see if we can make them fit for the internet age’.
The driving aim of adopting a pragmatic approach to make it easier for businesses to pursue their internet business models has sparked discussions surrounding a complete redress of all laws governing Intellectual Property, not simply copyrighting. Lowering costs in obtaining permission from rights holders, and simplifying the procedures for a business to protect and exploit their Intellectual Property are both areas which will be majored on in the review, come April. This will be of particular benefit to smaller businesses.
The review is to be conducted over a period of six months, and whilst having the long term goal of allowing companies far more freedom to innovate, this may have numerous beneficial repercussions for individual home users, too. Laws relating to parody, as well as basic user rights for downloading and copying music and films are two such examples which could be conducted far more freely. So watch this space for some imminent Intellectual Property law changes, which from the sounds of things, would leave both businesses and home users very satisfied customers.
Pinder Reaux & Associates