§ Lord Thomson of Monifieth
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will oppose any amendments to the copyright provisions of the proposed European information society directive which would deprive individual listeners and viewers of radio and television programmes of their right to continue to make without payment audio and video recordings off air for private consumption. [HL4120]
The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainbury of Turville)
An amendment to the draft EU directive on copyright in the information society, proposed by the European Parliament and taken up by the European Commission in its amended proposal, would require that right owners receive "fair compensation" where exceptions to rights are provided in national law permitting private copying of protected material on audio or audio-visual recording media. However, as we have stressed in continuing discussions with the Commission and other member states, we do not consider that a levy or other form of payment would be justified in relation to the UK's limited exception in this area which allows home recording of broadcasts to enable viewing or listening at a more convenient time ("time-shifting"). We are concerned generally that the approach to exceptions in the directive is too prescriptive, and we will continue to press strongly for greater flexibility for member states in this area.