HomeInsightsIntellectual Property Office publishes consultation on Changes to Schedule 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995.

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The technical consultation covers the proposed changes to Schedule 1 of the CDPA to ensure equal treatment of copyright works made prior to 1 June 1957 and the amendment of regulation 16 of the 1995 Regulations.  It also covers the repeal of regulations 24, 25, 34 and 35 of the 1995 Regulations to remove compulsory licensing of works where copyright is revived and ensure compliance with Article 2 of the Copyright Directive (2001/29/EC).

The proposed amendments originally arose from the consultations related to the repeal of s 52 CDPA.  Section 52 currently limits the term of copyright protection for industrially exploited artistic works (which includes any artistic work of which more than 50 copies are made) to 25 years.  However, as previously reported in N2K, this section is being repealed so that these works are entitled to copyright protection of life of author plus 70 years.  The repeal came into force on 28 July 2016.

In a consultation on s 52 carried out in 2015, the Government asked questions about the amendment of Schedule 1 of the CDPA.  Additionally, the consultation raised the issue of, and invited submissions about, the repeal of Regulation 24 of the 1995 Regulations, which establishes a regime for the compulsory licensing of works in which revived copyright subsists.

As outlined in the Government Response to that consultation, the Government has decided to amend Paragraphs 5 and 6 of Schedule 1 of the CDPA and regulation 16 of the 1995 Regulations to ensure consistency with the repeal of s 52 and to ensure that UK law is compliant with EU law.

The repeal of regulations 24, 25, 34 and 35 concerns any works that are, or could be, the subject of a compulsory licence.  In the Government’s view, the provisions are at odds with Article 2 of the Copyright Directive in deeming that certain acts in respect of a copyright-protected work are to be “treated as licensed”.  Article 2 provides that the right of reproduction is an exclusive one.  This means that authors and rights holders have the exclusive right to reproduce their works, and performers have the exclusive right to control the reproduction of fixations of their performances.  That being so, in the Government’s view, the regime in regulations 24 and 34, which precludes rights holders from controlling the use of their works in certain circumstances, is not in compliance with Article 2.  The Government has therefore decided to repeal these regulations, to ensure that UK law complies with EU law.

Comments are invited on whether the proposed amendments and repeals achieve the intended changes.  The consultation closes on 15 September 2016 at 4 pm.  To access the consultation documentation, click here.