The High Court has ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review case brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music. These three bodies challenged Government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders for the copying.
BASCA, MU and UK Music had welcomed a change to UK law which enabled consumers to copy their legally-acquired music for personal and private use. However, ahead of the introduction of the private copying exception, they consistently alerted Government to the fact that in such circumstances significant harm is caused to rightholders and European law requires fair compensation to be paid. On 19 June the High Court agreed with the music industry and found that Government’s decision not to provide fair compensation was based on wholly inadequate evidence – and that Government’s decision was therefore unlawful.
The High Court’s ruling means that Government will now have to reconsider its position. The British Copyright Council (of which AOI is a member) and others have consistently argued that any private copying exception must provide fair compensation for rights holders. Report from UK Music. More information here