Government defers copyright law changes

A government announcement on Tuesday revealed copyright law changes are on hold.

The government has delayed its plan to change the UK’s copyright laws, it announced on Tuesday.

ALCS, who has been heavily involved in the Save Our Books campaign over the past year, welcomes the news. We would like to thank our members who took the time to write to their local MP on the issue.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) launched a consultation last summer which considered a weakening of copyright rules used for exporting books around the world. This sparked an industry campaign, in which ALCS remains a central partner.

We are grateful to the ALCS members who made their views clear by writing to their local MPs during the Save Our Books campaign…

The decision comes after the government’s initial analysis of the responses it received, including one from ALCS, concluded that a lack of data meant it was unable to understand the extent of the economic impact a change to the current “exhaustion of rights” regime would have on writers.

The government says it “remains committed to exploring the opportunities which might come from a change to the regime.” There is no timeframe for a decision at the present, but the government said it would provide a further update to stakeholders and businesses “in due course”. ALCS will continue to campaign on the issue with our Save Our Books partners.

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We’re encouraged by the decision from the IPO not to proceed with any changes to our exhaustion framework in the UK for now.

“We hope that the government will make a clearer commitment to the creative sector by sticking to the UK+ regime, and move away from a change that would have a significant negative impact on our industry and the authors who work within it. We very much look forward to a firmer decision in due course. Finally, we’re grateful to all ALCS members who made their views clear by writing to their local MPs during the Save Our Books campaign.”

The government’s announcement can be found here and our briefing note on exhaustion of rights can be read here.