UK Parliamentary Committee comes out strongly in support of Copyright

Select Committee.jpg

The UK's House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has come out with a report seeking greater copyright protection for the creative industries.

The committee had particularly pointed comments in regard to copyright exceptions - an issue that is currently being considered by the Australian Law Reform Commission.  

The Report noted: "We are not persuaded that the introduction of new copyright exceptions will bring the benefits claimed and believe that generally the existing law works well. We recommend that the introduction or amendment of copyright exceptions should be contemplated only following detailed impact assessments and after proper parliamentary scrutiny on an individual basis."

The exceptions referred to in the report were based on recommendation of the Hargraves Review which sought much milder reforms than those being considered by the ALRC. 

"We regret that the Hargreaves report adopts a significantly low standard in relation to the need for objective evidence in determining copyright policy," the MPs wrote in their report. "We do not consider Professor Hargreaves has adequately assessed the dangers of putting the established system of copyright at risk for no obvious benefit." 

The committee was also harsh on the activities and attitude of search engines in general and Google in particular: "We strongly condemn the failure of Google, notable among technology companies, to provide an adequate response to creative industry requests to prevent its search engine directing consumers to copyright-infringing websites. We are unimpressed by their evident reluctance to block infringing websites on the flimsy grounds that some operate under the cover of hosting some legal content. The continuing promotion by search engines of illegal content on the internet is unacceptable. So far, their attempts to remedy this have been derisorily ineffective."

The full report can be found here: