Intellectual Property (Copyright and Related Rights) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

March 25, 2019

The Intellectual Property (Copyright and Related Rights) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 SI 2019/605 have been made. The Regulations are made under section 8(1) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the EU. 

The Regulations make amendments to legislation on copyright and related rights and, in particular, amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, subordinate legislation and retained direct EU legislation. They also revoke the Portability of Online Content Services Regulations 2018 and Regulation EU/2017/1128 on cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market.

A substantial part of the law on copyright in the UK is derived from EU law. There are 11 EU directives all of which have been implemented by the UK.

Additionally, there are two EU Regulations of relevance to copyright law in the UK: a Regulation allowing consumers to access their online content services while temporarily present in another Member State; and a Regulation facilitating the cross-border exchange of accessible format (e.g. Braille) copies of works under certain conditions.

These Regulations ensure that inappropriate references are amended (for example, by substituting references to “another EEA state” with “an EEA state”). In addition, they ensure that cross-border mechanisms and arrangements which break down are resolved on a rational basis (for example, so that the UK does not give unreciprocated effect to certain mechanisms). This includes the Portability Regulation which, as mentioned above, will not be preserved. 

An explanatory memorandum has also been published. Other guidance has been published on the changes being made by these Regulations and what they mean for copyright law in the UK if there is no deal.