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Press Freedom: Internet

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 40952, tabled on 18 August 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that sports journalists' freedom of expression right to use short extracts of current events in news reports on digital and social platforms is protected.

Answered on

8 September 2021

The Government recognises the value of local journalism, including sports reporting, to local communities, as well as the prominent role of broadcasters in generating coverage of popular sporting events.

The online use of short extracts of copyright protected broadcasters’ sports content by other news providers and journalists is subject to fair dealing exceptions in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. This provides for the use of copyrighted works, including extracts of TV broadcasts, for the purposes of criticism, review, quotation or news reporting. Fair dealing exceptions must be applied to each case based on its own circumstances, and can apply to online use as well as in traditional media. Where there is any uncertainty in the application of the exceptions, some industries choose to develop their own voluntary codes.

The Sports News Access Code is a voluntary, broadcaster-owned initiative intended to provide clarity and confidence where broadcasters use each other’s content under the current legislation.