U.K. Film, TV Directors Support Rejection of 'Fair Use' Copyright Policy

Hargreaves Report says the U.K. Government should not introduce measures to allow copyrighted content to be used for free.


LONDON – Directors U.K., the body representing over 4,000 directors working in film and television, said a report looking at copyright and deciding against the introduction of a U.S. “fair use” regime is a good thing.

The report, authored by Ian Hargreaves, said the Google-backed proposal to allow copyrighted content to be used for free, is not something the Government here should aim to introduce in changes to copyright law making.

“We welcome the clear and firm support given to the importance of copyright as a stimulus for creativity, innovation and growth, and for the support for effective enforcement of copyright against theft,” said Directors U.K. CEO Andrew Chowns. “We are pleased that Professor Hargreaves has decided against the introduction of a U.S. “fair use” regime.

Hargreaves’ report, published Tuesday here, called for 10 changes to archaic regulations that he argued are stunting the growth of the creative and technology industries.

The review was commissioned by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Proposed changes include creating a "one-stop shop" for digital rights clearance and lifting restrictions on parodying copyrighted material.

“We also welcome Professor Hargreaves’ vision for modern, efficient and accountable collecting societies operating a flexible copyright licensing regime. Directors U.K. believes the concept of the Digital Copyright Exchange is well worth consideration as a means of licensing digital uses efficiently and we welcome the opportunity to participate in this project,” Chowns added.

"We welcome the assurances regarding better enforcement at home and abroad and the measures to assist in rights clearance where there is market failure but we are concerned about a number of recommendations which will have an impact on the film industry including proposals related to exceptions on copyright and linking the Digital Copyright Exchange to enforcement.

After the report was published, Christopher Marcich, president and managing director, Motion Picture Association, which reps the major Hollywood film studios, issued a statement.

Marcich said the MPA is ready and willing to “engaging with the government on these proposals to ensure that the vital safeguards provided by IP protection, which give the creative sector its value, are maintained and that any changes are carefully considered in the context of their potential impact on the market place."