UK Intellectual Property Office: © The Way Ahead: A Strategy for Copyright in the Digital Age

The UK Intellectual Property Office has released © The Way Ahead: A Strategy for Copyright in the Digital Age.

Here's an excerpt:

Based on the findings, the Government's reported intentions are:

  • for authors of copyright works; to support fair treatment through new model contracts and clauses and fair returns for use of their work by improving education about and enforcement of rights;
  • for rights holders; to help secure a viable future by encouraging the development of new business models, modernising the licensing process and maintaining support for education about and enforcement of rights;
  • for consumers; to allow them to benefit from the digital age by seeking to legitimise noncommercial use of legitimately-purchased copyright works and improving access to 'orphan works' such as out-of-print books;
  • for educators and researchers; to support them by improving access to works, resolving issues around copyright and contract and ensuring exceptions to copyright are right for the digital age; and
  • for businesses and other users; to work towards a simpler copyright system by, improving the copyright licensing process and encouraging the development of new business models.

This means:

  • UK action to improve access to orphan works, enable extended collective licensing, encourage the development of model contracts and clauses, and tackle P2P file-sharing; and
  • A willingness on the Government's part to consider European action that provides commonsense rules for private, non-commercial use of copyright material that will give consumers much more freedom to do what they want (such as creating mash-ups) and make clear what they cannot do.
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