London
16 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Brexit provides ‘good opportunity’ for hyperlinking law


Brexit provides a “good opportunity to put forward a coherent definition of hyperlinking under copyright law”, according to UK Music.

The music trade group aimed its 2017 manifesto, launched ahead of the UK general election in June, at both sides of the UK political debate to ensure the “continued prosperity of the music sector”.

The manifesto covers a range of topics, including intellectual property, which UK Music calls the “key enabler for the music industry”.

Clarification of the hyperlinking definition is needed to provide certainty for music businesses when licensing for use online.

The Court of Justice of the EU ruled in September that it is not an infringement of copyright to hyperlink to work published online without the copyright owner’s consent, as long as the link was not posted for profit and the linker did not have knowledge that the work was originally published illegally

This stance has proven controversial, but the UK’s withdrawal from the means it could fashion its own hyperlinking rules.

UK Music also asked for the new government to develop initiatives that would put the burden of responsibility on internet service providers and “require them to have a duty of care for copyright protected music”.

But UK Music said that overarching copyright framework changes as a result of Brexit are unnecessary.

“Copyright provides a powerful tool that supports creators receiving a financial return for their work,” it said.

“Growth would be severely inhibited if copyright is not protected or its value not recognised.”

It asked that the next government leave the UK’s copyright framework as it is after Brexit. It said: “This continuity is critical to ensuring confidence amongst music businesses.”

“There is no evidence of the need for new exceptions to copyright. If this is not accepted by the government then it would only serve to take away rights and undermine the potential for growth.”

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