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Hargreaves shares BPI’s submission

By | Published on Thursday 17 March 2011


Talking of government helping the creative industries, or not, Prof Ian Hargreaves, the man spearheading David Cameron’s Google Review of copyright law, is in the process of publishing most of the submissions made to him as part of his investigation. I’m assuming he’s made sure he has a license to do so.

The latest submission to be made public is that by UK record label trade body the BPI, who start off their 123 page essay on copyright law in classic form by disagreeing with the question. Or, rather, by questioning one of the key assertions proposed by Hargreaves at the start of this review process, the idea that UK copyright law needs a much more wide-ranging fair use (or ‘fair dealing’ to use the English law term) provision for digital services to prosper.

It’s known this is an area where Google – whose lobbying seemingly instigated this review in the first place – wants significant reform, and its positioning at the heart of Hargreaves’ original review outline has bothered music industry types, some of whom see this whole investigation as being anti-copyright-owners.

At the start of its submission, the BPI confirms its intent to “respectfully challenge” this premise, going on to say the UK digital music market is prospering just fine under the current system, that fighting piracy should be priority number one, and that ramped up fair use provisions would “reduce business certainty and increase the costs to business of litigation”.

The BPI’s submission goes on to make eight recommendations. You can read it, and all the other submissions so far made public, here. Just so you don’t get confused, don’t forget that in this wacky modern age, BPI stands for, erm, ‘British Recorded Music Industry”.