Put 'fair use' right in UK copyright law, says NCC

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    I have been advised of another very interesting article on UK Copyright issues.

    Link to original
  2. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    I made reference to the fact that the UK has no Fair Use policy in a thread somewhere (probably the MP3 Download thread) - I agree it's absurd.

    Has anyone ever seen any evidence of anyone prosecuted for copying their own legally bought material (for their own use)?
  3. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Here's wat a recent article on theRegister says about the subject of copying your own 'owned' CD's:
    They have also commissioned a poll that spotlighted the folly of current copyright law in the UK. Fifty-nine (59%) per cent of respondents in the National Consumer Council (NCC) commissioned poll thought copying their own CDs was perfectly legal, and 55 per cent said they have done so.!!!
  4. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Would or could this "Fair Use" also apply to legally bought and owned sets of music? So would it be legal then to copy parts?
    Since last year, we have a system in Belgium that requires every band to pay a certain amount (a maximum of 250 euros per year) to have the right to make photocopies of original parts. Of course the band still needs to own the original set. The photocopies are meant for rehearsals and to distribute to the players, so that the originals can be kept in a "safe" place.
    A "fair use" law for this could do away with this fee....
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Under the US system, copying parts is NOT covered by "Fair Use". There are a few progressive publishers who have figured out that it doesn't make sense for them to print multiple copies of the same part and who therefore provide a single copy of each part in the published set, with an express limited licence to make copies for use of the band purchasing the set.

    In fact, copying for personal reasons is not actually covered by Fair Use in the US, either. In US copyright law, it is legal for individuals (not organizations or corporations) to copy material as long as it is for "personal use" and it is not used by or distributed to any other person. So I can copy my own legally purchased sheet music, but I cannot give it to any other person for any length of time. I can legally rip my CDs to my iPod, but I cannot legally share those files with anyone else.

    Under US law, the Fair Use exception covers things like quotes in scholarly publications or academic research, quotes in revews or critiques, news reporting, etc. It does not cover copies of entire works.
  6. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Interestingly, Rob Collinson of Broadnib Music was telling me that he's started an initiative where he sends out his music in printable form on CDR. My understanding is that the Band can then print as many parts as they need - obviously, the licence agreement should stop redistribution....

    The latter's a bit of a moot point - if someone's going to copy something, then they'll do it anyway be it off a disc or by photocopying.
  7. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    The current "photocopy licensing" system is set up by the society of tumusic publishers SEMU (www.semu.be). Unfortunately, they don't seem te be so enlightened as the publishers that you describe... :(
  8. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    If he edited the file and put the band's name accross the top before putting on CD, this would go some way to prevent copying of full sets for another band.
  9. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    That's an excellent idea! Cheaper distribution too. :)
  10. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    There is a (I think) a clause in the 1988 Act allowing "fair dealing", which allows for the copying part of a of a publication for private study or research - for instance if you needed to refer to an Encyclopedia Britannica article for an essay and didn't want to buy the whole work. This also applies to printed music as far as I know. I know a lot of bands copy sets that they already own as a "backup" and currently this is illegal, but there is possible a (slightly dodgy) legal argument to be made that copying an individual part (e.g. solo horn) for home practice only constitutes "fair dealing".

    As far as the original topic is concerned, the law works the other way as well. If you have a tape or LP that's a bit knackered and you remaster it using your PC to create a new CD, you are breaking the law. So of course I won't be doing any such thing in the near future with my old collection of band tapes that are not available on CD ;)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  11. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Actually, I suspect that the remastering process wouldn't be covered by fair use policy either as you'd be altering the original without the ower's permission. I'd guess that the fair use policy would imply the transfer to an alternative medium in an unaltered state.
  12. GJG

    GJG Well-Known Member

    FWIW there was some detailed discussion on this point in another thread: