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Copyright exceptions and contract in the UK: the impact of recent amendments

Adrian Aronsson-Storrier

Keywords: copyright exceptions; contract; copyright; Copyright; Designs and Patents Act 1988

In June and October 2014 a number of amendments to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 came into effect, introducing new copyright exceptions and amending several existing exceptions. While following recent judicial review the private copying exception has been quashed, many of the remaining new exceptions significantly alter the relationship between copyright exceptions and contract, making contractual terms unenforceable where those terms restrict users from taking advantage of an exception.

This paper explores the rationale for the UK amendments and considers whether the changes, as implemented, prevent rights holders from contracting out of exceptions and whether they increase the clarity of the copyright system.

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