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Great Britain: Protection of search engines from liability for copyright infringement


There are discussions in Great Britain about creating a new exemption from copyright law for search engines that create copies of web pages in order to perform their search duties (see Outlaw). The proposed amendment:

"Protection of search engines from liability for copyright infringement


The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is amended as follows.


After section 116F (as inserted by section (Compulsory licensing of recorded music to be made available via the internet)) insert—


Protection of search engines from liability for copyright infringement


Every provider of a publicly accessible website shall be presumed to give a standing and non-exclusive license to providers of search engine services to make a copy of some or all of the content of that website, for the purpose only of providing said search engine services.


The presumption referred to in subsection (1) may be rebutted by explicit evidence that such a licence was not granted.


Such explicit evidence shall be found only in the form of statements in a machine-readable file to be placed on the website and accessible to providers of search engine services.


A provider of search engine services who acts in accordance with this section shall not be liable for any breach of copyright in respect of the actions described in subsection (1).""



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