Mike Weatherley, the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister and Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised the Intellectual Property Office for listening to the representations from the creative industries and for not implementing all the calls from Professor Hargreaves in his recent report, which could have led to an unacceptable dilution of Intellectual Property Rights.
Mike believes that the new copyright exceptions, which have been released by the Intellectual Property Office, generally strike the right balance between European directives, consumer demands and industry concerns. In his role as the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, Mike has consistently highlighted that copyright exceptions must be limited. Mike was concerned that Britain may follow some European countries in permitting greater exceptions to the detriment of the economy.
Mike is particularly pleased that the private copying exception, which allows individuals to copy content that they own (exclusively for personal use) to another medium or device, did not allow unrestricted copying, as many rights holders had feared, but supports legitimate personal copying. Mike has hailed the UK stance as a flagship ‘line in the sand’ that other countries in Europe should follow, rather than the wider definition of ‘friends and family’ as they have in many countries.
Commenting, Mike said: “Having discussed the exceptions at length with Lord Younger and the IPO I am pleased that Britain is leading in protecting Intellectual Property Rights and not diluting fundamental aspects of copyright. Collectively the creative industries add over £70 billion to our economy and it would be devastating to see this eroded.”
Mike added: “It’s only right that the law is catching up with technology and has made provisions for restrictive private copying. While I feel that it is important generally to keep maintain the integrity of copyright, the private copying exception was a sensible change that most people would see as a reasonable compromise and has hit the right balance between protecting freedom and respecting rights holders.”