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A consultation on exemptions to copyright law for certain charitable and not-for-profit organisations was launched today by the UK Intellectual Property Office. The Music Licensing Review consultation will seek views from music rights holders, representative bodies of users and rights holders and users on two exemptions which allow charitable organisations to pay for only one of two licences normally required for playing music. There are three options for amending the exemptions: (a) Recasting the exemptions so that they apply only to smaller charities (b)Introduction of an alternative scheme requiring payment of equitable remuneration for playing music (c) repeal of the exemptions. Ian Fletcher, Chief Executive of the UK-IPO, said “It is important that we carefully consider the use of exemptions within copyright law. We need to ensure we find the correct balance between the fair application of exemptions for the benefit of society and the need to ensure a fair reward to the creators of the music we enjoy in a way which is consistent with European and international law.” The UK-IPO has worked closely with the Office of the Third Sector to ensure the third sector is involved in the consultation. Key areas of the consultation also include (a) whether an exemption should be introduced allowing the NHS to play televisions and radios in areas such as hospital wards without payment of copyright licence fees and (b) a proposal to remove the requirement for rights holders to notify certain new licensing schemes to the Secretary of State for possible reference to the Copyright Tribunal. The 16 week consultation will run until 31 October 2008-07-02 http://www.ipo.gov.uk/press-release-20080701