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High Court’s decision boosts MusicTank’s private copying compensation debate

Music 22 June 2015

With the Court of Appeal last week overturning the UK Government’s private copy exception law with specific regard to its failure to compensate rights holders for private copying, MusicTank’s forthcoming debate at Westminster’s Regent Campus on 25 June discussing an alternative system for artist compensation for private copying moves centre stage.

The High Court ruled against the UK Government in a Judicial Review case brought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), the Musicians’ Union (MU) and UK Music. These three bodies challenged Government’s decision to introduce a private copying exception into UK copyright law, arguing that it was unlawful because it failed to provide fair compensation to rightholders.

Keith Harris, OBE and MusicTank Chair, said: "The sensible thing for the government to do now would be to participate in the debate about the best charging mechanism for private copying and what might be an appropriate fee. Our forthcoming MusicTank debate will be a good stimulus for that discussion."

Drawing a panel of experts in copyright and alternative compensation systems from industry and academia, the event entitled Private Copy Exemption: Rightsholders and Remuneration addresses this very issue, kickstarting the debate about a suitable alternative compensation model, taking its lead from a paper written by Music Business Management MA post-graduate, Samuel Rudy.

MusicTank is taking forward this complex aspect of rights-holder remuneration as part of its Future Thinking series of critical thinking and informed debate. Future Thinking aims to foster knowledge transfer within a rapidly transforming business sector. It allows the University of Westminster’s postgraduate students to submit their theses, the best of which will be published and freely distributed via the MusicTank website.

The debate will take place from 6.30–9pm on Thursday 25 June 2015 at Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW. Book your ticket now.

About MusicTank

Established in 2003, MusicTank is a unique, neutral information hub for UK music business addressing change and innovation through informed debate, objective analysis and industry engagement. Owned and operated by University of Westminster, its content-rich website – – contains a wealth of industry information and resources, together with event transcripts and podcasts, news, reports and research papers. Visitors to the site can sign up to a free monthly email newsletter, and for a small annual subscription become members; giving access to premium content. MusicTank was shortlisted for a THE Leadership & Management Award (Knowledge Exchange), 2012.

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