Law Change Will Legalise Parodies in the UK

By Gerald Lynch on at

A change in the law in the UK will give comedians greater freedom to parody existing works, bringing the UK closer to what's legally acceptable in the US. As of October 1st, the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Quotation and Parody) Regulations 2014 will be introduced, meaning that those creating parodies will not need explicit permission from the creator of the original piece, nor a paid-license, to distribute a humourous reworking.

There are, of course, still stipulations -- pastiche, parodies and caricatures are fine, but  the legality of transformative works (such as YouTube supercuts that chop up existing films or songs to give them new meanings) are still subject to scrutiny. Likewise, anything that is too close to the original work won't be allowed if it could be mistaken for the original by someone looking to purchase the piece that acted as inspiration. And, as you'd expect, defamation or anything that could be considered an affront of the original creator's moral rights won't be accepted, so all appropriate credit will be needed to be given.

While it's not a total free-for-all, it does take some of the strain off those who would otherwise be struck with a cease-and-desist or takedown notice. Expect your social feeds to be cluttered up with a hell of a lot more parody YouTube clips come October 1st then. [Legislation.gov via Engadget]

Image Credit: Ars Technica