March 30, 2022
The new legislation, which comes into force on 1 December 2021, follows the Copyright and Performances (Application to Other Countries) (Amendment) Order 2021, which amended the Copyright and Performances (Application to Other Countries) Order 2016 to provide for the application of the protections in Part 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to both wired and wireless broadcasts relating to an EU state.
This No. 2 Order amends the 2016 Order to extend copyright protection to wired broadcasts from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in order to comply with the UK-Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein free trade agreement (FTA), which requires the UK to provide similar levels of copyright protection to nationals of those countries as the UK provides to its own nationals.
Following the changes, wired broadcasts from those countries will enjoy protection equivalent to that already enjoyed by wireless broadcasts from those countries, as well as wired and wireless broadcasts from the UK. The Explanatory Memorandum to the statutory instrument states that this is not expected to have a significant practical impact. Data from the European Audiovisual Observatory’s MAVISE database on audiovisual services in Europe suggests that few television channels broadcast from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are directed at pan-European audiences, and none directly target the UK. As such, affected broadcasts are likely to be of limited commercial value and interest in the UK. Additionally, these changes will affect only the protection for broadcast signals themselves. The content in the broadcasts (such as films, television programmes and music) will already receive protection in the UK and are unaffected by this instrument. Nonetheless, these changes are necessary for the UK to meet its international obligations.
The IPO has amended its Guidance on UK copyright protection for foreign works and nationals accordingly.
Although the new legislation is unlikely to apply in practice, the Order is now on the statute books. Therefore, broadcasters in the UK need to be aware of it. To access the legislation, click here.