SCL Response to Latest IPO Consultation

February 9, 2009

A group of SCL members, led by Gillian Cordall of Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, has put together responses to the questions posed by the Copyright and Enforcement Directorate at the IPO. The SCL Response follows on from its responses to the proposals as to copyright exceptions and that on P2P file-sharing (flowing from the Gowers Review).

The SCL response rises above the basic arguments, which too often reflect fixed positions and vested interests. For example, it highlights the practical difficulties which arise in establishing whether or not an infringement has taken place and the difficulties arising from the pace of technological change for effective licensing. The SCL Response also identifies the possible commercial disadvantage that may arise from more stringent enforcement unless a ‘fair use’ exception, similar to that which applies in the USA, is added to UK law. The Response sounds a warning about hints of government or regulatory intervention on compulsory licensing by drawing a comparison with the scarcely used parallel provisions which apply to patents. The SCL Response also points up the disadvantages that would accompany a regime which required copyright registration as a means of authentication.

The full SCL Response can be downloaded from the panel opposite.