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Court quashes right to copying for personal use


In 2014 the Government introduced some Regulations which amended an aspect of the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 to allow individuals to make personal copies of copyright works for private use, accepting the reality of what users are generally doing anyway, in other words making a copy of a copyright work was accepted as not an infringement for personal use.  However, any ‘commercial’ use would still be a copyright infringement.  There have been for many years various exceptions to copyright such as use for in reporting and for educational purposes which do not amount to copyright infringement. 

However, in a case on 17 July 2015 (R(British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) v Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills [2015] EWHC2041, the court quashed these Regulations so that they are no longer in force and effective from the date of the judgment.  The Regulations have not been quashed retrospectively.

It remains to be seen what will now happen in relation to an exception for private copying.  It seems unlikely that any clarity that this will happen soon.  The law remains uncertain both for the copyright owners and for individuals who might be infringing copyright.

For further information or help, please contact John Sykes.

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