EU Directive - Changes to UK Copyright Law and Implementation

31st October 2003

Changes to The Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 were implemented and took effect from the 31/10/03, to comply with the European Unions Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society. All changes made apply from this date. A full list of the amendments can be obtained from visiting this Implementation of the Copyright Directive link.

The new legislation was called The Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 (Statutory Instrument 2003/2498). The new Act consists of a number of amendments to its provisions and to its 'exceptions to copyright'. The 'exceptions' enable individuals to make or obtain copies of extracts from copyright works for certain specific purposes, without having to obtain prior copyright clearance and/or permission of the copyright owner.

Priority amendments that are relevant to University staff and students include the 'Libraries and Archives' exceptions and the 'Fair Dealing' exceptions that are now reduced and only allowed for 'non-commercial purposes', and the amended provision relating to reprographic copying by educational establishments (Section 36 of the Act).

Libraries and Archives exception:

Amendments to this came in the form of a change in the declaration that now states that the 'copy' will only be used for a 'non commercial' purpose - or private study. Private Study is defined as 'that it does not include any study that is directly or indirectly for a commercial purpose.' This amendment will have (at least for the moment) little effect to our 'authorised users' (i.e. staff and students) photocopying from CLA licensed material. It will though, apply to 'walk in users / visitors' etc, who require a photocopy or copies for the purpose of 'research or private study' that is 'directly or indirectly' linked to a commercial purpose, and do not have prior explicit permission from the copyright owner/s. Also, if they request photocopies via the Learning Centres Inter Library Loan system, in support of research for a commercial purpose, they will have to request 'copyright fee-paid' photocopies through this service. 'Walk in Users / Visitors' can also use the availability of the CLA 'Sticker Scheme.' Please visit this link for information on the Sticker Scheme .

Changes to the Fair Dealing exception:

Any copying that is undertaken in support of commercial research, or private study that is directly or indirectly connected with a commercial purpose cannot be defended as 'Fair Dealing.' This action is likely to infringe copyright without the permission of the copyright owner, a fee paid permission or licence.

As with the Libraries and Archives exception - this amendment (at the moment) does not apply to our staff and students, but does to our 'walk in users'.

Section 36 (subsection 1) now states:-

'Reprographic copies of passages from published literary, dramatic or musical works may, to the extent permitted by this section, be made by or on behalf of an educational establishment for the purposes of instruction without infringing any copyright in the work, provided that they are accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgment and the instruction is for a non-commercial purpose.'

There was some confusion throughout HE establishments on whether the CLA HE Licence covers our 'authorized users' (i.e. members of staff and students) for this Fair Dealing exception. The CLA were not decisive on this.

The official line from Universities UK and the Standard Conference of Principals (SCOP) - is that 'authorised users' are (at this present time) covered.