In it, ORG calls once more for the UK to adopt an exemption in law comparable to those in countries including Germany, France and the Netherlands.
Cartoonists have long operated without the safety net of a ‘Right to parody’ that the ORG champions. Typically, we have survived by being ignored, endured or tolerated by a powerful enough patron. For the truly keen, I wrote a long piece about the changes to my business back in 2009.
The democratisation of publishing technology unleashed by IT and spread by the internet has enabled very many other people to play in the fun and nastiness that the publication of satire allows. I’ve always thought this was healthy despite the challenge it can pose to the law of copyright and occasionally to defamation.
Equally, it is also a truism that you know who is in charge of a society when you are told what you may not do.
The wave of self-expression in parody has become so large that even the legal establishment has had to take notice of it. It is to be hoped the exemption of a ‘Right to parody’ is granted before the next general election.
Updated 27th March 2014: The draft statutory instrument outlining the exemption to copyright for parody has been published by the government. It should come into force on June 1st.
Updated 8th May 2014: It was reported that the exemption discussed above was delayed. At the time of writing it is unclear why.
Updated 30th July 2014: The Open Rights Group reports some nice news, the exception is (finally) approved.