UK Lending Law Question and Business Model

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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UK Lending Law Question and Business Model

Post by dinoman88 » Fri May 13, 2011 1:25 pm

Hello all,

I am new to this but was reading up on UK law concerning lending friends CD's and DVD's etc.
As far as I know it is legal to lend it to one friend at a time as long as they are the only users to it at the time of lending.

What I was thinking is setting up a music, DVD lending service online. Each user has a profile of the music/film bought online that they OWN and they can choose to lend it to one of their friends digitally. Only one friend can borrow an item at a time.

does anyone have the knowledge as to whether this is a work around on sharing Music/film legally.


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Post by AndyJ » Fri May 13, 2011 4:00 pm

Hi David,
Sadly any organised lending arrangement like the one you propose is against the law without a licence. In fact all lending technically infringes copyright but because it it is extremely difficult to detect when it is between friends, I don't know of any cases where an individual has been taken to court over it. It is much the same as format shifting (ie copying from one media format to another, say CD to MP3 player) for personal use - that is to say, technically illegal but so hard to enforce that the British Phonographic Industry have given an assurance that their members will not take people to court for it.
Here's what section 18A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988* says:
18A Infringement by rental or lending of work to the public.

(1) The rental or lending of copies of the work to the public is an act restricted by the copyright in—

(a) a literary, dramatic or musical work,

(b) an artistic work, other than—

(i) a work of architecture in the form of a building or a model for a building, or

(ii) a work of applied art, or

(c) a film or a sound recording.

(2) In this Part, subject to the following provisions of this section—

(a) “rental” means making a copy of the work available for use, on terms that it will or may be returned, for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage, and

(b) “lending” means making a copy of the work available for use, on terms that it will or may be returned, otherwise than for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage, through an establishment which is accessible to the public.

(3 )The expressions “rental” and “lending” do not include—

(a) making available for the purpose of public performance, playing or showing in public or communication to the public;

(b) making available for the purpose of exhibition in public; or

(c) making available for on-the-spot reference use.

(4) The expression “lending” does not include making available between establishments which are accessible to the public.

(5) Where lending by an establishment accessible to the public gives rise to a payment the amount of which does not go beyond what is necessary to cover the operating costs of the establishment, there is no direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage for the purposes of this section.

(6) References in this Part to the rental or lending of copies of a work include the rental or lending of the original.
However it is possible to obtain a licence to operate a lending service. In other words, section 18A (and some others in the Act) are not intended to prevent hiring or lending, just make sure that the copyright owner receives some extra renumeration due to the extended use of their work. This is similar to how the public lending right applies to libraries. I believe that PPL are the collecting society responsible for issuing such licences, although I can't find any details of the speciific tarif on their website. As your scheme would be not-for-profit, it might attract a special rate, but as these provisions are very new I have no details about how they are being implemented with bodies which are not actually charities.

Afternote. This reply was in respect of sound recordings, I have just noticed you also mentioned video recordings. The same law and general comments apply, but the MPLC are the licensing body you need to contact for feature films. Music videos licensing is handled by Video Performance Ltd VPL which is now a division of PPL already referred to.

*This section was added to the original Act by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996, which in turn implemented an EU directive (93/83/EEC) on the subject.
Last edited by AndyJ on Wed May 18, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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Post by dinoman88 » Tue May 17, 2011 3:27 pm

Thank you for your swift answer. It's unfortunate my idea will never be within the law. I personally do not beleive in copyrighting material although, others would argue what incentive is there for people to create new inventions/ material if they couldn't copyright it.
Is our curioisty as beings and willingness to better ourselves not enough. Imagine if the caveman who invented the wheel could have copyrighted it....................

Thank you

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