Hargreaves report rejects fair use

Steve Dinneen
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A REVIEW of UK copyright laws has recommended reform but fallen short of the “fair use” proposal backed by Google.

Reforms suggested in the Hargreaves Review focus largely on the film and music industries. One major recommendation is legalising the copying of music and films between formats for personal use.

Another is a loosening of rules surrounding “transformative works,” which involves reworking existing content. Last year a spoof of the Jay-Z song New York State of Mind, called Newport State of Mind, was banned after breaching copyright laws – under the proposed changes it might have survived.

Professor Ian Hargreaves, of Cardiff University (pictured), said: “My recommendations... are designed to enhance the economic potential of the UK’s creative industries and ensure the emergence of high technology businesses, especially smaller businesses, in other sectors are not impeded by our IP (intellectual property) laws.”

The review was welcomed by music industry body the BPI, which said the report “has sensibly rejected Google’s flawed case for a significant weakening of UK copyright.”

A CBI spokesman said: “Hargreaves has rightly focused on promoting market access, and has rejected the wholesale adoption of ‘fair use’”.

Google called the review “a welcome contribution to the debate”, saying “we look forward to the government making its decision”.