Quashing of private copying exception

Intellectual Property Office

July 20
09:56 2015

In October 2014, the Government introduced a private copying exception permitting individuals to make personal copies of copyright work for private use (e.g. for format shifting CDs to MP3 players).

Shortly after the private copying exception came into force, a number of music industry stakeholders applied for Judicial Review of the Governments decision to introduce a private copying exception without a levy. The Judgment, handed down on 19th June, concludes that while the Government correctly interpreted the law in this area, the evidence relied upon to justify the conclusion that the exception caused minimal harm was inadequate, and the decision to introduce the exception was therefore unlawful.

The full Judgment can be found on the Judiciary website

On the 17 July 2015 a further judgment was issued quashing the exception, with the effect that acts of private copying which would have fallen under the exception, now constitute acts of infringement.

The Government is considering the implications of the court rulings (see the decisions in BASCA and others vs Secretary of State for BIS [2015] EWHC) and the available options.

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