2017

Impact of Brexit on UK copyright law

The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 has received Royal Assent. Notification of the United Kingdom's intention to withdraw from the European Union is now imminent.

Discussions within the BCC's Copyright and Technology Working Group have focused on the following related questions:-

  • How will our copyright laws be affected?
  • How will new trade agreements put in place by the UK affect our copyright laws, whether in the medium or longer term?
  • How do we ensure that the levels of sophisticated application for copyright rules within the EU are protected and allowed to develop after BREXIT?
  • Will there be pressure for unintended extension of copyright exception and limitation provisions "to the maximum" permitted under the TRIPS Agreement or International Treaties linked to it?


Members have been addressing the implications and working to collate views across the membership of the Council in preparation for the debates ahead.

As part of this work we are indebted to Florian Koempel, Gaetano Dimita, Phil Sherrell and Heather Randles for preparing their paper "Impact of Brexit on UK copyright law". 

The paper highlights some of the areas where the Government will be free to make changes once the UK ceases to be bound by EU law.  Understanding these options will be an important part of participation in the debates ahead.  Only with this understanding will we be in a position to appreciate the advantages of what must be preserved as we face challenges which others may wish to make to the effectiveness of the international application of copyright law in the future.

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