Europe's online source of news, data & analysis for professionals involved in packaged media and new delivery technologies

Improved guidance for video users on the Private Copy Exception

The UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published clear advice on the new Private Copy Exception for consumers who own DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, which are normally protected from copying by Technical Protection Measures (TPMs).

On 1 October 2014, amendments to the Copyright Designs & Patents Act came into force, which included a limited exception allowing people to take a private copy of CDs and other copyright material not protected by TPMs that they legally own.

The industry had been in discussion with the British government for years to avoid unintended consequences of poorly drafted legislation having a detrimental effect on the film, television and video sector. The Open Rights Group and others supported the notion that consumers should be able to copy any content they owned, which would have seriously damaged the market for box-sets and Blu-ray releases of catalogue titles, as well as new online services.

The British Video Association was also concerned that a lack of understanding amongst many policy makers and politicians between the business models of music and video would lead the IPO to undermine the legal use of TPMs by rights owners through loose definitions that would harm the financial viability of video distribution on all platforms.

Following months of discussion with the industry, the IPO has issued specific guidance on how private copying will be legally permitted and what circumstances will be taken into account if people complain that TPMs are preventing them from making a copy of a DVD, Blu-ray Disc or legally downloaded video title.

For example, the guidance states, "If you are seeking to make a personal copy for your own private use, the Secretary of State is required by law: (a) to take account of the right of the copyright owner to limit the number of personal copies which may be made; and (b) to consider whether there are already available in the market, on reasonable terms, versions of the work that do provide personal copies or allow users to make them.?"

"It's a relief for the video industry that the IPO has clarified for consumers the purpose of copy protection measures used on all video formats," says Lavinia Carey, public affairs consultant to the BVA. "Most people are well aware that copying video works is not normally allowed. If people had started making copies at will, it would be easy to imagine the situation getting out of control as perfect digital copies from DVDs and Blu-ray Discs began to circulate. If anyone was under the impression that the new private copy exception gave them the freedom to circumvent TPMs, not present on music CDs for example, this newly published advice is very clear that the availability of video titles on digital services or as a digital copy means that they will not automatically be given permission to make more copies."

Story filed 13.12.14

Bookmark and Share

Article Comments

comments powered by Disqus