9th May 2023

Policy Seminar: Potential Disruption to the Current Copyright System

On Tuesday 9 May 2023, Members had the opportunity to participate in a Policy Seminar with British Screen Forum copyright consultant Prof. Guido Westkamp, who explored how notions based on freedom of art, and specifically around the concept of ‘pastiche,’ have the potential to significantly disrupt the current copyright system, with implications for all creative businesses based on the ownership of intellectual property. This seminar also explored issues relating to copyright and AI.

The seminar follows on from the decision of a German court that the use of a music sample constitutes a permitted pastiche based only on the fact that the work appraised appears in a different context. Courts in other jurisdictions have taken a narrower view. Nevertheless, the approach taken by the German court will have significant implications and may pave the way towards a highly flexible proportionality test that is ultimately based on freedom of art. The notion of pastiche therefore has the potential to significantly disrupt the current copyright system. The seminar will address the ensuing and highly convoluted issues and focus especially on the interface between (secondary) copyright law and fundamental rights.

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