back to article UK reforms on private copying and parody come into force

Reforms to UK copyright rules that enable private copying, parodying and general quotation of copyrighted material to take place legally have come into force. The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations and Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations were …

  1. gerryg

    fair use

    "UK Music has claimed that the reforms will cost musicians £58 million a year in lost revenues."

    Just quoting but is there a provision for self-parody? If not will UK Music be suing itself?

    1. Mike Smith

      Ars gratia lucrum

      Their website's very 1990s, but there's some telling stuff on there. The whole tone of it suggests that their view of the music business begins and ends with a record company's profit margins, but they still think that collecting backhanders is on a par with a musician's royalties. They probably spend all day insisting that their money-grubbing agenda is solely focused on rewarding artistic expression and then they deliberately kick the buskers in the tube station on the way home.

      Their chief executive's bio is very telling indeed. Looks like a typical middle manager's over-inflated CV. If prostitution or drugs were made legal, she'd be quite at home heading up UK Shagging or UK Smack.

      1. i like crisps

        Re: Ars gratia lucrum

        As a Busker i can tell you that getting 'Kicked in the Tube Station' does bring tears to your eyes!

        1. Mike Smith
          Thumb Up

          Re: Ars gratia lucri (thanks, Irony Deficient :-) )

          "getting 'Kicked in the Tube Station' does bring tears to your eyes!"

          And if that happened at midnight, maybe there's a parody of a Jam song in the offing...

      2. Irony Deficient

        Re: Ars gratia lucrum

        Mike, one must observe the proprieties for best effect:

        Ars gratia lucri

    2. Len Goddard

      Re: fair use

      This is a ludicrous figure. There is no loss because everyone has been doing it for years anyway.

    3. Dazed and Confused

      Re: UK Music has claimed that the reforms will cost musicians £58 million a year in lost revenues

      Some people have never heard of the idea that having a better product might lead to better sales.

      In the 15 years before I started ripping CDs to play them through MP3 type players I might have averaged 1 or 2 CD purchase a year. Most years since then I've probably been closer to 100 since I suddenly had a format which meant it was sufficiently convenient to use the product. I don't mind paying for my music (and spoken word CDs), I don't see why musicians shouldn't be paid for the work they do. But I'll only buy something that I'm going to use. Make it usable and I'm in the market, stop it being usable or make me feel like I'm being ripped off and my money will stay in my pocket.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good news for cassetteboy ...


  3. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The law is an ...

    > ... parody, a concept which is new to English law

    Strange, I had the distinct impression that English law had always been a parody.

    1. Gannon (J.) Dick

      Re: The law is an ...

      It's the Hippies, they are everywhere, Pete.

      The next thing you know ...

      The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

      (c., 2014, Gannon J. Dick, All Rights Reserved)

  4. frank ly Silver badge

    What happens if .....

    ,,, you make a 'good' parody then upload it to your YouTube channel, which has advertsing on it, then it gets lots of views and you make money from it?

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: What happens if .....

      YouTube makes even more money?

    2. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      You become the "new" Wierd Al

      God forbid.

  5. Bod

    £58m lost revenues

    £58m lost because a few people are ripping their CDs or hell even from vinyl instead of paying yet again for the thing they already own to get it on MP3 or whatever?

    I call BS.

    What irritates me though is when certain artists fall for the crap that the industry spouts about loses and then start ranting about how copying is evil and denying them of a fair income. No, the industry is ripping you off, not the consumer! They give you a fraction of a penny for every CD/MP3/whatever sold and keep the rest themselves.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: £58m lost revenues

      They need to decide if they sell a product or a licence. If a product then you should be free to do as you like with it once purchased. If a licence, then as a licence holder you should be able to purchase a replacement media or exchange format at (or reasonably close to) cost price.

      In simple terms, if you want to force someone to purchase another copy for a format shift, then you are starting that they have purchased something physical rather than a licence.

    2. James 139

      Re: £58m lost revenues

      The £58million has been derived by the usual method, "out the arse".

      Probably some non-accounting, non-financial exec at that.

      Sometimes, very very rarely, and only because its at some ludicrously low price, will I buy a digital copy of an album I already own on CD.

      That said, I do like Amazons approach, if you buy the CD, you get a digital copy to play/download automatically. Even Apples iTunes Match is going some way towards common sense.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Call we call it the "Spaceballs Law"?

    That's one of the best parodies invented by Mel Brooks.

    And to understand the gags you must watch the original, even if it wasn't that famous already.

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    The real issue.

    They don't want you to have a permanent copy at all. Even CDs have a finite life, but if you can make multiple private copies, purely as backup, then that, to them, is a lost sale. Even worse if you originally got a 'soft' copy.

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: The real issue.

      The real issue is that they're greedy idiots who are out of touch with their customers; you know, the ones paying for music in the first place.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can The Register get a comment from Bono about all this?

    Just so i can hate him a little bit more.

    1. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Can The Register get a comment from Bono about all this?

      To quote Bono('s character on South Park):

      "Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!"

  9. IanTP


    Home taping is killing music.

    Oh wait....

    Come on Friday. I need a beer ;)

  10. heyrick Silver badge

    "EU laws allow countries that introduce a private copying exception into national laws to do so without an associated mechanism for compensating rights holders where only minimal harm to rights holders would arise as a result of private copying activities."

    So, officially, our choices would be: Introduce a levy on blank media to counter the fact that transferring music from one medium to another may or may not happen. But we'll pay anyway.

    Or require to buy a new copy of the same thing for each different type of media involved.

    I think the new UK law has it about right. Home users can privately transfer between different types of media and UK Music can go screw itself. This is something we have all been doing for years. We copied our CDs into our phones and media players as a convenience to ourselves, not anybody else, and it's a bloody cheek expecting a person to pay again and again for something they have already legitimately purchased.

    Law is catching up with reality, that is all.

  11. Tom 35 Silver badge

    So we can now parody Andrew Orlowski's upcoming moan (should be any second now) but he will still reject it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It won't be a moan

      It will be an article purporting to be about something completely unrelated (say the migrational patterns of hummingbrids), then sidetrack midway through to mention Google and the trillions of dollars lost for budding young writers by having their work indexed.

  12. OrsonX

    Do the quotes have limits?

    Can you, for example, quote a whole book?

    Off topic, but somehow related. How come audiobooks are available on YouTube? Obviously for me this is a good thing (I have recently really enjoyed Red Mars and am now on Childhood's End), but why don't they get pulled by Audible, etc?


    1. John 110

      Re: Do the quotes have limits?


      "...Off topic, but somehow related. How come audiobooks are available on YouTube? Obviously for me this is a good thing (I have recently really enjoyed Red Mars and am now on Childhood's End), but why don't they get pulled by Audible, etc?..."

      Well now you've gone and spoiled it for everyone...

    2. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Do the quotes have limits?

      Can you, for example, quote a whole book?

      According to the article:

      the extent of the quotation is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used

      I guess you could say "I am using the quotation to get around copyright law, so I need to quote the entire work", but I doubt that would stand up in court...

    3. SolidSquid

      Re: Do the quotes have limits?

      My guess is doesn't have their stuff in Youtube's auto-blacklisting system and haven't been flagging things at the same rate they've been added

  13. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: finally some sense

      "although I don't think this is fair: "making a private [backup] copy of a computer program is still be prohibited under the new framework"."

      Yeah, so everyone who does a system backup is breaking the law and has done for years. Stupid law.

  14. SolidSquid

    Just a thought, but won't this screw with Youtube's auto-detecting system pretty badly? If you're legally allowed to use clips from copyright material then either they'll need to review any material flagged manually for parody or blacklist a lot of perfectly legal material

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      this being a UK law, and YouTube being an international US based web site, probably not. They'll just ignore it.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        I had a video recording (made by a mobile) containing a few seconds of a movie playing on a RaspberryPi, without audio. It was "Rejected" and I didn't see any "Argue about Fair Use" link. So I don't really expect YouTube will change, either.

        On the other hand, to correctly identify the clip from an off-centre and mosaic-y (screen focus issues) clip was rather impressive, though I wonder how many false positives it might trigger?

  15. Zimmer

    ...and the business angle?

    So, a reform. What is 'business' going to gain from this? Free use of parodied music for jingles in TV ads ? The use of parodied characters from well known books, Films or TV shows without permission or payment ?

    Hmmm... who knows ?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: ...and the business angle?

      "What is 'business' going to gain from this?"

      Exactly. No one here really thinks this is for our benefit, do they?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Delete "It's a homage",insert "it's a parody".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is that a silent 'h' like is used in homage, home, help, Hen3ry, hard and haphazard?

  17. phuzz Silver badge

    Perhaps they should have just called this the "Legalising the stuff you were doing already" law.

  18. squigbobble

    Home taping is killing music... the tune of £58 million.

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