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Renting or lending copyright work to the public.

Written by Owen Ross on 25 February 2012

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Renting or lending copyright work to the public is an act restricted by copyright in for Literary, Dramatic, Musical works or Artistic works (LDMA).

Renting or lending copyright work to the public does not cover a work of architecture, broadcasts, typographical arrangements, films or sound recordings.

Section 18(1) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA) states:

Infringement by rental or lending of work to the public

(1) The rental or lending of copies of the work to the public is an act restricted by the copyright in -

(a) a literary, dramatic or musical work,

(b) an artistic work, other than -

(i) a work of architecture in the form of a building or a model for a building,or

(ii) a work of applied art, or

(c) a film or a sound recording.

Under section 18A(2)(a) of the CDPA to rent a copyright work is to make the work and make available for economic advantage.

Under section 18A(2)(b) of the CDPA, to lend a work is to make a copy of the work available to the public where it will be returned and where it is not returned for an economic advantage. An example would be public libraries.

Section 18(3) of the CDPA states

The expressions rental and lending do not include -

(a) making available for the purpose of public performance, playing or showing in public or communication to the public;

(b) making available for the purpose of exhibition in public; or

(c) making available for on-the-spot reference use.

Under section 18A(4) making copies of a work available between public establishments is not included under the term lending unless they charge beyond the necessary operating costs.

There is very little case law in the area explaining what the courts view of what rental or lending is.
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