HL Deb 29 February 2000 vol 610 cc59-60WA
Lord Dholakia

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Under what statutory authority the Newspapers Licensing Authority charges organisations for photocopying press articles; and whether the legislation distinguishes between photocopying for internal use by an organisation's staff and sending copies to outside persons; and [HL1112]

What statutory provision exists for the Newspaper Licensing Authority to make exemptions for charities from charges for photocopying press articles; and, if any, what is the statutory definition of a charity for this purpose. [HL1113]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville)

Copyright law, as stated in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, provides protection for all original literary works, including press articles, and making copies of a work is one of the acts restricted by copyright. Some limited photocopying of all or part of a copyright work may fall within the scope of one or more of the exceptions to copyright and so would not need the licence of the copyright owner—for example, the exceptions covering fair dealing with a work for the purposes of research or private study, criticism or review, or the reporting of current events and the exceptions covering use of copyright works in judicial proceedings or statutory inquiries. No copyright exceptions are specifically directed at charities, so there is no statutory definition of what constitutes a charity in copyright law. Otherwise, statute does not distinguish between copying, including photocopying, for different purposes, leaving rights' owners and users free to negotiate appropriate royalties for a particular use, including use by charities.

The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) is a private organisation established by some owners of copyright in press articles to license photocopying collectively. Collecting societies like the NLA benefit both copyright owners who might otherwise find it difficult to license use of their work and users who might otherwise have to approach many different copyright owners for licences. However, in recognition of the monopoly position that collecting societies may hold, the terms and conditions offered by any collective licensing society can generally be referred by licensees or prospective licensees for independent adjudication by the Copyright Tribunal, a body established by the 1988 Act for this purpose.