Posted by Philip Banks-Welsh, Partner
Important update on the implementation of changes to old rules for copyright protection of “artistic works”
In a previous article published on 24 March 2016 it was identified that the IPO were reconsidering the implementation date for the proposed changes to copyright protection for articles which qualify as “artistic works”.
The original date for the change was April 2015 with a 5 year transitional period. This was later revised to April 2016, after being challenged, with a much reduced transitional period until 28 October 2016. The latest position is that the changes will now become effective on 28 July 2016 with a transitional period ending on 28 January 2017.
Whether there is any relevance in the fact that the new implementation date post dates the referendum on membership of the EU is open to debate. Assuming the changes are ever implemented, they will result in artistic works attracting substantially enhanced copyright protection and the importation and sale of copies of those items will be subject to stringent restrictions. As matters stand, after 28 July 2016 it will not be permissible to import or make new copies of artistic works unless these were already contracted for prior to the time of publication of the consultation document which was 16.30 on 28 October 2015. Stock which is imported or made after 16.30 on 28 October 2015 can still be sold prior to 28 July 2016.
Where stock is imported or made after 28 July 2016 this can only be sold or marketed with the express permission of the copyright owner or be subject to some other exemption, and after 28 January 2017 no unauthorised copies can be sold or otherwise put into circulation with express permission or without being subject to an exemption.
We will provide any further updates on this subject as soon as we hear of them.
If you need further information or advice on copyright protection for artistic designs, or any other intellectual property law matter, please get in touch with our Technology & Media team.
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