Copyright – Should Fair Dealing be replaced by Fair Use?

The following is an independent research essay analysing whether or not the UK should adopt a general, fair use defence to copyright infringement similar to the one found in US law. It was produced as part of my degree course, although the submitted version varies significantly due to limits on the length. This is the “original” version and contains a detailed look at copyright, its scope, history and purpose, before examining the fair dealing and fair use defences. Sections of the essay will be appearing in stand-alone posts, in (hopefully) a more accessible form.

Copyright – Fair Dealing and Fair Use.pdf (161 kB)

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DNA Databases – A Challenge to the Law

This entry is cross-posted from

The Supreme Court, Crown Copyright

Today the Supreme Court gave a long-awaited ruling on the subject of DNA databases and the ability of the police to store DNA samples of innocent people indefinitely. In a majority judgment (with two of the seven judges disagreeing) the Court ruled that the police practices were unlawful. Due to changes in the law being discussed by Parliament the judges did not go as far as ordering the police to change their practices within a certain time-frame or awarding compensation. It was, however, suggested that if changes were not made soon, further cases could be brought which were likely to succeed.

While this ruling does not mark the end of excessive police profiling, or of the police DNA databases, it is clearly a step towards a more balanced and proportionate system, and should be welcomed by all those who seek a fair and just policing system

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The Digital Economy Act On Trial

This is a compilation of posts written for the Pirate Party summarising the main arguments made during the hearings for the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review – otherwise known as R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. It covers the details of the first, third and fourth day of the oral submissions, I was unable to make the second day but summaries can be found elsewhere.

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