British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a review of the UK’s intellectual property laws with an eye to adopting U.S. style fair use.
In a speech given on November 4, 2010, Cameron said, “Over there [in the U.S.], they have what are called ‘fair-use’ provisions, which some people believe gives companies more breathing space to create new products and services. So I can announce today that we are reviewing our IP laws, to see if we can make them fit for the internet age. I want to encourage the sort of creative innovation that exists in America.”
Currently, as Ars Technica notes, UK intellectual property law can be quite restrictive: “there’s no exception for “parody,” for instance, or for ripping CDs to computers.”
While the move is being considered to spur business development – in particular, a new “Silicon Valley” in East London – the adoption of fair use would be of obvious benefit to all forms of creative speech and innovation, including fanworks and remixes.