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Copyright law now has a sense of humour

30 September 2014

On 1 October 2014, The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 come into force which introduce new copyright infringement exceptions including a specific exception granting the right to parody.

The new regulations will extend the fair dealing exception to copyright infringement to include use for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche. Any contract terms that prevent any act that this exception allows will be unenforceable.

The IPO’s view is that this exception will give the creative industries greater freedom to use the work of others for parody purposes and that this will incentivise creativity.

However these changes will have no impact on other rights such as libel, slander and moral rights. Copyright authors still have the right not to have their work subjected to derogatory treatment. This means that the decision will be left in the hands of a judge as to whether a parody permissible under copyright law will offend the author’s right to integrity.

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