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Copyright

Volume 569: debated on Thursday 24 October 2013

17. What assessment he has made of the potential effect on UK artists and creators of introducing a private copying exception without compensation. (900691)

This change will allow people to make personal copies of content they have bought. For example, it will allow an individual to copy their CDs on to an iPad. Many people already do this without realising it is illegal under copyright law. Most people think it is reasonable and should not be prevented by copyright. The Government agree and our new law will recognise this. This change will not allow people to obtain copies unlawfully, and British creators will continue to be rewarded when people buy copies of their works.

So far, the 22 EU member states that have introduced private copying exceptions have all introduced corresponding levy schemes on MP3 players and other copying devices to compensate artists for the loss of income. Why will the UK not do the same?

The reason is very simple: those European countries have introduced far wider exemptions than we are proposing. Many of them allow content borrowed from friends, families and libraries to be shared very widely. That damages creators, so they need to provide compensation, but our proposal is carefully targeted to protect what happens, as we all know, in almost every family in the country without doing damage to creators.