The Copyright SIs have been published, intended for common commencement on 1st June. The SIs are bundled into five groups (as opposed to 8 individual ones) and are as follows: Personal copies for private use; Research, Education, Libraries and Archives; Quotation and Parody; Disability; Public Administration. An explanatory note has also been published alongside these.
The SIs are a mixed bag, but broadly speaking remain disappointing, particularly text mining and parody. Text mining has been bundled with a lot of other things and the wording on contract override remains – as it does in the other SIs. Whilst the explanatory note says that “publishers will be able to impose reasonable measures to maintain security and stability of their computer networks as long as researchers are able to benefit from the exception”, it’s as if this has just been lifted out of the original draft SI and put into the explanatory note to avoid the SI itself looking contradictory (which it still does). Nevertheless – and on the positive side – there does seem to be a clear indication that contract terms which seek to control the amount and speed of access are fine. Concerns remain however about “lawful access” to works and no restriction against the mining of works acquired through another exception. The Parody SI still includes caricature and pastiche, and there is no reference to moral rights nor to licensing. And Private copying cannot but lead to consumer confusion; consumers are told on the one hand they can “move an ebook from one type of ereader to another (and to make further copies of such copies) without risk of copyright infringement”, which itself is questionable, but also that if they find they aren’t able to (which by and large they won’t be), they cannot appeal to the Secretary of State about it, as circumvention of TPMs cannot take place for on demand services (which ebooks are).
The Government also published the results of the Technical Review alongside the legislation, in an attempt to explain their decisions. This has some useful language, such as that contract terms not directly related to copyright will not be affected by the SIs, but this of course is little comfort when the language that exists is confusing, potentially damaging and uses contract law to restrict copyright and licensing.
We have already be in contact with the IPO and are discussing how we might, at the very least, improve the explanatory notes accompanying the legislation. And of course there are some parliamentary levers we can try and pull. But the results at the moment are disappointing.
David Laws has announced a new assessment and accountability system for both primary and 16-19 education. At the most basic level, schools will be required to publish key information on progress for primary, secondary and 16 to 19 phases on their websites in a standard format, so that parents can judge performance in particular in English and Maths. Specifically for primary, the expected attainment rate has been raised to 85% (which, despite there no longer being a levels system, the Government suggest should be closer to the present 4b level); and as had already been heavily trailled, a new baseline will be developed and used at reception to assess progress. It sounds like, however, that schools can choose to be judged on the attainment standard alone and can opt out of using an approved baseline standard (we’ll be following up with DfE). Whilst the EYFS profile will no longer be compulsory, EYFS will continue to be statutory and form the basis for early years Ofsted inspections. The grammar, punctuation and spelling test will not form part of the primary floor standard in 2014 (but its left open as to whether it will going forward).
Turning to the 16-19 accountability system, there will be new “fairer minimum standards” for 16-19 providers and five headline measures of performance to give a broader picture than just attainment alone e.g. progress; retention and destination measures.
Meanwhile, Ofsted has signalled a change to inspection procedures.
The Wellcome Trust APC data has been analysed here and with some strange conclusions.
There are concerns about Nigeria, following the introduction of a tax on the import of printed books, backdated to 1st January 2014. A letter has been sent to the Minister of Finance from the Nigerian PA and we are seeking a similar letter from the British Embassy in Nigeria. For further information, contact Emma House.
Who we’ve met and forthcoming meetings:
This week we: met with shadow BIS Minister, Iain Wright MP; met with RIN; met with The Reading Agency; attended the Society of Bookmen dinner; met with IPO Copyright Director, Ros Lynch.
Next week we will be: meeting with the National Literacy Trust; attending the Open Internet Forum; attending the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 10thBirthday; attending the PIPCU IP enforcement seminar.