26 October 2016Copyright

UKIPO opens consultation on copyright legislation repeal

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has launched a public consultation on its planned repeal of section 73 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988.

In 2015, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) carried out a balance of payments consultation, the result which led the government to seek to repeal the CDPA.

Section 73 provides that the retransmission of public service broadcasters’ (PSBs) core channels (all BBC channels, ITV1, and Channel 4 and 5’s core channels) via cable is exempt from copyright fees.

The DCMS consultation also examined the relationship between PSBs and platforms. The government said it recognises that a new rights market will emerge as a result of the repeal of section 73.

As a result of the DCMS consultation, the IPO said there were a number of concerns raised “that warrant further consultation”.

In a report, the IPO stated that “the cable market has now moved from a myriad of local providers in the 1980s to one big provider and very few local platforms, and from 130,000 subscribers to over four million now”.

It added: “The repeal of section 73 will also have the benefit of closing the loophole used by online service providers to stream PSB content.

“Such providers claim that the copyright exemption in section 73 applies to retransmission via the internet. The government rejects this claim and considers that such online services should not be able to transmit PSB content via the internet without any benefit flowing to the PSBs,” it added.

Additionally, the aim of the consultation is to assess the potential future rights market, the impact on performers’ rights and whether there is a need for a transitional period or rights clearance mechanism.

The consultation period ends on November 21.

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