Parody mash-ups permitted under new copyright laws

Videos that previously would have been taken down almost immediately if they sampled copyright material. Credit: Reuters

Parody mash-ups will be permitted under changes to UK copyright laws, as long as they are funny.

Under the existing rules, there has been the risk of being sued if films, TV shows, adverts or songs were used without consent. A new European directive, due to come into effect on October 1 will allow the use as long as it is far, and does not compete with the original version.

Owners of the copyright can only sue if the parody conveys a discriminatory message, in such cases then a judge will decide if it is funny.

Comedians, artists, and filmmakers have long used parody to poke fun or criticise contemporary popular culture, but in the UK have been restricted by the threat of being sued.

Cassette Boy, famous for his mash-ups of TV shows told the BBC the current rules restricted his work to the extent he viewed them as a form of censorship. He said:

It's like being a painter in a country where paint is illegal. In the past, our work has just disappeared from the internet overnight.

Cassette Boy

Record companies have been leading the charge against unauthorised mash-ups.

The Intellectual Property Office told the Telegraph that the legislation is only intended for minor uses.

Drafting this as a fair dealing exception…is intended to allow creators to make minor uses of other people’s copyright material for the purposes of parody, caricature or pastiche, without first asking for permission.

Intellectual Property Office

Comedy writer Graham Lineham welcomed the changes, saying they will allow "an explosion of creativity" to work unhindered by the undue legal restrictions.

People like to create new work and up until now those people have been in such a legal limbo. They can do something that's incredibly clever and very funny but it gets taken down in moments.

Graham Lineham