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Fight for your Right to Parody

As widely expected, The House of Lords has voted in favour of the ‘right to parody’ law that will allow people to alter copyrighted works for the purpose of caricature, parody and pastiche.

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations will come into effect on 1st October, so polish up that woodwind and prepare to fight for your right to parody.

Minister for intellectual copyright Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “Online creative sites, which are about building grass-roots creativity, have told us that they have encountered sometimes insurmountable issues with lawyers and copyright owners over the years”.

The Baroness continued: “One of the ways that campaigners are able to highlight questionable business practice is by parodying a company’s own brand or slogans. Yet as the law stands, to do so carries considerable risk of legal action and with it the risk of campaign materials being blocked from publication. The Government believe it is time to change the law”.

The changes are based on the suggestions of the much-discussed 2011 Hargreaves Review of British copyright law.

In addition, the private copy exemption will also become law this year, meaning that music fans can now legally rip tracks off CDs onto other devices without technically needing a license. It was a real copyright cliffhanger but from October you are free to legally go forth and multiply all of those collectible CD singles currently gathering dust in the attic. UK rights owners have raised issues around the mechanics of this, stating that they should be reimbursed when private copies are made, as they are in Europe- This is usually achieved by a system of adding a levy to devices that are used to make private copies such as PCs.

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