Copyright (Visually Impaired Persons) Bill

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Mr. Heath: What about the case of a database that forms part of a published work—in other words, a hybrid? There must be such cases. I am not sure how watertight the definition of database is, but I would be grateful if the Minister would consider the matter, and perhaps take advice later or write to me on the subject.

Miss Johnson: I will take the option of writing to the hon. Gentleman, in order to be absolutely clear that all the technical angles of his question are covered.

The second exception is not generally limited to use for educational purposes. The limitation applies only to activities in educational establishments. The exception allows not-for-profit bodies to make accessible copies that visually impaired people can use for pleasure, or for any other reason, as the hon. Gentleman rightly said.

We are not convinced that there is a problem with licensing schemes, but we will consider the matter carefully. I accept that the hon. Gentleman has raised some interesting questions. It is true that the courts can deal with an infringement of copyright. The Bill does not change that. The Secretary of State's order-making power can be used when past infringements have been so serious that it is necessary to limit the exception in order to reduce possible future infringement, hence the provision in new clause 5.

It is most unlikely that taking a part of a work would count as ''derogatory treatment'' as defined in section 80 of the 1988 Act, so I am able to reassure all Committee members about that, including those who love poetry.

The hon. Member for Daventry and others mentioned approved bodies. As hon. Members are aware, approved bodies can be dis-approved: the Secretary of State can do that by making an order under new section 31E, which will be inserted into the 1988 Act. New section 31F(2) will allow that. The reference to educational bodies using accessible copies for educational purposes only narrows the exception. They cannot be used other than by visually impaired people.

Mr. Boswell: Are the circumstances under which the Secretary of State would have recourse to the power of dis-approving a body clear to the Minister? If there is no criterion for approval, the conduct of that body is relevant. In terms of human rights and other legislation, it is important that there is some clear pattern of offending that gives rise to an order made by the Secretary of State to take away the rights conveyed by the Bill.

Miss Johnson: The hon. Gentleman is right to say that there is no process of approval, as hon. Members have said. The Secretary of State would have regard to whether the legislation was infringed when considering whether a body should be dis-approved.

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On the scope of the bodies that can act under the exception, I understand that right holders are concerned that there is a broad definition of so-called approved bodies that can act under the exception. I agree that by defining such a body as either an educational establishment or a not-for-profit body, we embrace a wide range of bodies. The hon. Member for Somerton and Frome argued that we could consider that the other way round. There are many not-for-profit bodies that might not have helping visually impaired people as their main aim, but that nevertheless want to help, particularly at a local level.

My hon. Friend the Member for Dunfermline, West gave several examples earlier. Neither she nor I would want, say, a local Church group that decides to help local visually impaired people by reading local newspapers and magazines on to tape to find that copyright clearance is a problem. I am sure that none of us would want that. If we become aware of serious infringement of copyright as a result of any activity under that section, we will not be reluctant to consider the making of an order under new clause 5 to limit the scope of the exception. That safeguard remains.

We must be realistic about the technical protection measures. When, for example, an electronic text needs to be put into braille and reproduced on pieces of paper, it is not sensible to suggest that it can carry copy protection measures. That is why the requirement about reapplying copy protection devices must include a test of whether it is reasonably practical to do so.

I may still need to write to the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome if he is not satisfied with my response about a database directive. It is a complex issue. Broadly speaking, apparently it may be possible to carry some of the content of a database, but not the whole database. If my answer has not fully met his point about design, I am willing to correspond further with him and copy my response to members of the Committee for their information.

We are trying to make available to the many people who have a visual impairment only what many of us take for granted. I am pleased that my hon. Friend has rightly secured such wide support for her Bill. I welcome the massive input from the RNIB and other organisations that are interested in the issue. In all their work, they—together with my officials—have contributed to a considerable improvement to what was already a good Bill. The remaining new clauses have been explained by my hon. Friend, and I trust that we shall support them all.

Rachel Squire: I thank my hon. Friend the Minister and the hon. Members for Daventry and for Somerton and Frome for the good points that they have made and for their support for the Bill. I believe that the Minister has dealt with the issues that have been raised. I wish to underline my desire—and clearly that of all those present in Committee—to continue the partnership that has been developed to secure legislation and to work together on a basis of good will. We have a shared and genuine commitment to give greater equality to people with visual impairment,

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while also safeguarding the rights of professional bodies. I hope that all members of the Committee will consider that we can continue to work together as we have done up to now and secure a successful outcome.

Question put and negatived.

Clause 1 disagreed to.

Clause 2

Short title, commencement and extent

Rachel Squire: I beg to move amendment No. 2, in page 5, line 1, after 'Act', insert '(apart from this section)'.

The amendment will simply ensure that clause 2 is amended to come into force on Royal Assent. A commencement order will then need to be made under subsection (2) to bring the remainder of the Bill into force.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

New clause 1

Accessible copies of copyright work for visually impaired persons

    'In the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48), after section 31 insert—

    ''31A Making a single accessible copy for personal use

    (1) If a visually impaired person has lawful possession or lawful use of a copy (''the master copy'') of the whole or part of—

    (a) a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work; or

    (b) a published edition,

    which is not accessible to him because of the impairment, it is not an infringement of copyright in the work, or in the typographical arrangement of the published edition, for an accessible copy of the master copy to be made for his personal use.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

    (a) if the master copy is of a musical work, or part of a musical work, and the making of an accessible copy would involve recording a performance of the work or part of it; or

    (b) if the master copy is of a database, or part of a database, and the making of an accessible copy would infringe copyright in the database.

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the making of an accessible copy for a particular visually impaired person if, or to the extent that, copies of the copyright work are commercially available, by or with the authority of the copyright owner, in a form that is accessible to that person.

    (4) An accessible copy made under this section must be accompanied by—

    (a) a statement that it is made under this section; and

    (b) a sufficient acknowledgement.

    (5) If a person makes an accessible copy on behalf of a visually impaired person under this section and charges for it, the sum charged must not exceed the cost of making and supplying the copy.

    (6) If a person holds an accessible copy made under subsection (1) when he is not entitled to have it made under that subsection, the copy is to be treated as an infringing copy, unless he is a person falling within subsection (7)(b).

    (7) A person who holds an accessible copy made under subsection (1) may transfer it to—

    (a) a visually impaired person entitled to have the accessible copy made under subsection (1); or

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    (b) a person who has lawful possession of the master copy and intends to transfer the accessible copy to a person falling within paragraph (a).

    (8) The transfer by a person (''V'') of an accessible copy made under subsection (1) to another person (''T'') is an infringement of copyright by V unless V has reasonable grounds for believing that T is a person falling within subsection (7)(a) or (b).

    (9) If an accessible copy which would be an infringing copy but for this section is subsequently dealt with—

    (a) it is to be treated as an infringing copy for the purposes of that dealing, and

    (b) if that dealing infringes copyright, is to be treated as an infringing copy for all subsequent purposes.

    (10) In subsection (9), ''dealt with'' means sold or let for hire or offered or exposed for sale or hire or included in a broadcast or cable programme service.''.'.—[Rachel Squire.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

New clause 2

Multiple copies for visually impaired persons

    'In the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48), after section 31A insert—

    ''31B Multiple copies for visually impaired persons

    (1) If an approved body has lawful possession of a copy (''the master copy'') of the whole or part of—

    (a) a commercially published literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work; or

    (b) a commercially published edition,

    it is not an infringement of copyright in the work, or in the typographical arrangement of the published edition, for the body to make, or supply, accessible copies for the personal use of visually impaired persons to whom the master copy is not accessible because of their impairment.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply—

    (a) if the master copy is of a musical work, or part of a musical work, and the making of an accessible copy would involve recording a performance of the work or part of it; or

    (b) if the master copy is of a database, or part of a database, and the making of an accessible copy would infringe copyright in the database.

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the making of an accessible copy if, or to the extent that, copies of the copyright work are commercially available, by or with the authority of the copyright owner, in a form that is accessible to the same or substantially the same degree.

    (4) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the supply of an accessible copy to a particular visually impaired person if, or to the extent that, copies of the copyright work are commercially available, by or with the authority of the copyright owner, in a form that is accessible to that person.

    (5) An accessible copy made under this section must be accompanied by—

    (a) a statement that it is made under this section; and

    (b) a sufficient acknowledgement.

    (6) If an approved body charges for supplying a copy made under this section, the sum charged must not exceed the cost of making and supplying the copy.

    (7) An approved body making copies under this section must, if it is an educational establishment, ensure that the copies will be used only for its educational purposes.

    (8) If the master copy is in copy-protected electronic form, any accessible copy made of it under this section must, so far as it is reasonably practicable to do so, incorporate the same, or equally effective, copy protection (unless the copyright owner agrees otherwise).

    (9) If an approved body continues to hold an accessible copy made under subsection (1) when it would no longer be entitled to

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    make or supply such a copy under that subsection, the copy is to be treated as an infringing copy.

    (10) If an accessible copy which would be an infringing copy but for this section is subsequently dealt with—

    (a) it is to be treated as an infringing copy for the purposes of that dealing, and

    (b) if that dealing infringes copyright, is to be treated as an infringing copy for all subsequent purposes.

    (11) In subsection (10), ''dealt with'' means sold or let for hire or offered or exposed for sale or hire or included in a broadcast or cable programme service.

    (12) ''Approved body'' means an educational establishment or a body that is not conducted for profit.

    (13) ''Supplying'' includes lending.''.'.—[Rachel Squire.]

Brought up, read the First and Second time, and added to the Bill.

 
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