HC Deb 25 January 2000 vol 343 c201W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what was discussed at the DTI-sponsored meeting on 7 October 1999, on the draft EU Directive on Copyright in the Information Society; [106054]

(2) if it is the Government's policy to support the European Parliament's authorised wording of the draft EU Directive on Copyright in the Information Society. [106055]

Dr. Howells

[holding answer 24 January 2000]: We are not convinced that the mandatory exception for certain temporary copies as proposed in Article 5.1 of the draft Directive is the right approach, and we feel that the European Parliament's proposal to limit this exception to cases where use of protected material has been authorised by right owners would achieve a fairer balance between the different interests involved. We do not consider that this amendment would prevent or inhibit caching or other acts by intermediaries, which would clearly be inappropriate. However, the Commission and several other Member States are opposed to the European Parliament amendment, and its seems unlikely that it will receive sufficient support to be adopted. We have therefore encouraged dialogue between intermediaries and right owners, who are concerned that Article 5.1 will impair their ability to control illegal uses of their material, in order to establish whether other approaches can be found which are mutually acceptable.

We have no record of any meeting on the draft Directive arranged by the Department on 7 October 1999. However, we have facilitated several meetings between intermediaries and right owners on Article 5.1, and these discussions are continuing. We have also had numerous other meetings with a wide range of interested parties on various aspects of the Directive. We will, of course, continue with these consultation processes until negotiations on the Directive are completed.