/ January 12, 2008

The UK Contemplates Fair Use

The U.K. is looking to change copyright law in order to create a fair use provision similar to that offered in other countries such as the United States and Germany. The U.K. Intellectual Property Office is considering adding such a clause to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988 (CDPA). Anything created in the U.K. is considered to have a copyright unless it is specifically stated to be in the public domain.

The British Library is in favor of such an amendment so that it can scan deteriorating materials in its collection. Lax enforcement and limited public awareness have also been cited as major reasons to amend the CDPA.

Many have asserted that fair use in the United States is too indefinite a standard. Should the U.K. follow this lead, or create more concrete safe habors for users of copyrighted materials?

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