"Fair Dealing" UK Law

If 'fair dealing ’ allows you to record TV shows to watch at a later date/time and in the UK we pay a license for the priveledge of watching terrestial tv. Does this mean you could argue ‘fair use’ downloading Tv shows from p2p networks that were shown on the channels that we’d paid a license to watch?
this leads to another question, which is most easily illustrated by computer software.
if you have a license to use a piece of software, does it matter where you get the software from? ie you could buy a product but loose the cd. then download it from a p2p network.

i got to thinking about this after reading this article:


The origin of this “fair dealing” is section 70 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988:

"The making for private and domestic use of a recording of a broadcast or cable programme solely for the purpose of enabling it to be viewed or listened to at a more convenient time does not infringe any copyright in the broadcast or cable programme or in any work included in it."

Note that this refers to any broadcast or cable programme, not just BBC programmes.

The implication is that you are expected to erase the recording once you have viewed it.

one could as easily keep/erase a video cassette as a file on a computer.

it seems to me to say
its ok as long as its you who made the recording and you delete it afterwards.
downloading from the net is effectively ‘watching someone else’s copy’

it’s more obviously illegal to distribute copies but it seems it’s more of a grey area to watch a copy but then delete. or even have a copy but not share it about.

[Ob. IANAL] A police officer explained it to me about 10 years ago: basically, you can record programs for later viewing but that viewing should be within a reasonable time. What constitutes reasonable time is highly flexible. If you were to record a film, then a week or two would be fine, and a month would be ok especially if you’d been on holiday; equally, if you were recording a series then it would be entirely ok to keep the tapes until a modest time after the final episode. On the other side of the coin, if an officer visits your house and sees a large collection of programs you’ve recorded, then their eyebrows are going to get raised, and they may use it as an excuse to arrest you.

Of course, things may well have changed in the past decade.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

What if a certain university theological department had recorded a Channel 4 documentary about Salman Rushdie several years ago, and regularly trotted out the same ageing videotape whenever the Islam Ethics course came round?

I have heard that the new SkyPlus boxes, while allowing you to “record” programmes on a hard drive within the box, also stop you from viewing those programmes again as soon as your subscription to the channels cuts out. Dunno if this is actually true but I daresay the law quoted above will back the practice up.

All seems a bit unfair t’me.

According to Wikipedia :

“… universities and schools in the UK obtain licences from the UK Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) for their staff and students a local copyright collective. Under these licences, multiple copies of portions of copyrighted works can be made for educational purposes.”

I’m not a lawyer, neither in the UK nor here in the US (which also has special copyright rules for educators). If you’re worried, I’d suggest getting in touch with the folks at the CLA, who can probably give you a definitive answer and maybe even an official-looking piece of paper.

I have had it heard that this law could well be changed in a quite simple way. Get every single teenager who wants to make a casette tape of a CD (or these days rip an MP3), or every householder that wants to hold a movie night to actually do what the law asks and write away to the recording company for permission. With thousands of these requests coming in each day, they company would probably just throw its hands in the air and give up, rather than spend the time and money in replying to them all.

I have a feeling they’d manufacture a quick and simple “thanks for the thought but NO” letter, and everyone would get sent that. It wouldn’t cost any more than it costs publishers and Prime Ministers.