Changes to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988

On 1 October 2014, the following three copyright exceptions, which are provided for in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988("CDPA"), came into force -

  • Personal Copies for Private Use - new section 28B CDPA
  • Quotation - amended section 30 CDPA
  • Parody - new section 30A CDPA

On the whole, these exceptions are designed to legalise the status quo, as well as allowing certain limited uses, to the extent that they constitute fair dealing. It is expected that their practical impact will be quite limited, therefore. It is not possible to contract out of any of these exceptions.

Personal Copies for Private Use

This exception permits the making of a personal copy of an individual’s own copy of a work, for that individual’s private use for non-commercial purposes. This exception does not apply to computer programs.

An individual’s own copy is one that a person has purchased lawfully, eg, a music CD or download.

Private use includes format-shifting (copying CDs to digital media) and making back up copies.

If you share your digital media with another person, you will infringe copyright, because that is not private use.


This exception permits the use of a quotation from a work (whether for criticism or review or otherwise) provided that –

“the work has been made available to the public”,

the use of the quotation is” fair dealing” with the work,

the extent of the quotation is “no more than is required” by the specific purpose for which it is used, and

the quotation is accompanied by a “sufficient acknowledgement” (unless this would be impossible for reasons of practicality or otherwise).


This exception permits fair dealing with a work for the purposes of caricature, parody or pastiche.

Case law states that parody’s characteristics are (a) to evoke an existing work while being noticeably different from it, and (b) to constitute an expression of humour and mockery.

It will be up to the courts to decide whether a work is funny or not.