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Copyright: Draft Directive

Volume 622: debated on Wednesday 28 February 2001

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asked Her Majesty's Government:In relation to Article 6.4.4 of the 16 September Common Position Statement on the proposed Copyright and Information Society Directive, whether member states can intervene to prevent technical blocks being used (a) to deprive disabled people of the right to copy on-line material to put it into accessible format; and (b) to prevent the public from exercising lawful exceptions in the on-line environment; and, if so, why. [HL833]

Article 6.4.4 of the Common Position on the draft copyright directive applies only in the case of material made available to the public on agreed contractual terms by means of interactive "on-demand" services. A new recital (52a) recently approved by the European Parliament at its second reading of the directive is intended to clarify the limited scope of this provision. The Government have indicated their readiness to accept this amendment to the Common Position, which also makes clear that other forms of online use of material remain subject to the safeguards in the first and second subparagraphs of Article 6.4 for member states to be able to act to ensure that users can benefit from the exceptions in question. The European Parliament's amendments to the draft directive will now be considered by the EU Council of Ministers.