UK: The Copyright And Related Rights Regulations 1996

Last Updated: 12 November 1996
This bulletin sets out some of the main legal and commercial issues that will arise, from the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 1996.

Key Points

  • The Satellite and Cable Directive determines the applicable law of a broadcast
  • The Rental Directive states that exclusive 'rental and lending rights' are granted to authors and provides for an unwaivable right of equitable remuneration
  • The Duration Directive establishes a new 25 year publication right

THE COPYRIGHT AND RELATED RIGHTS REGULATIONS 1996

The Regulations implement the provisions of three European Directives dealing with rental rights, duration of copyright and satellite and cable rights. The Regulations are due to come into force on 1st December 1996. The information below is based on the new draft Statutory Instrument on Copyright and Related Rights ("SI") which should implement the Regulations in the UK although it may still be subject to amendment. The main provisions are as follows.

RENTAL AND LENDING RIGHTS

The SI stipulates that exclusive 'rental and lending rights' are granted to authors of literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works. This extends the present UK law which currently grants rental rights only to films, sound recordings and computer programs.

'Rental' means 'making a copy of the work available for use, on terms that it will or may be returned, for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage' and 'lending' means 'making a copy of the work available for use, on terms that it will or may be returned, otherwise than for direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage, through an establishment which is accessible to the public'.

These rights are granted to authors and performers in respect of all copyright works and performances included in audio-visual works and sound recordings. The Rental Directive stipulates that authors and performers who transfer their exclusive rental rights in their works retain an unwaivable right to equitable remuneration in relation to their rental rights.

Following the Rental Directive, the SI allows derogations to be made with regard to the grant of exclusive lending rights, provided that the authors are at least remunerated in respect of lending. The right to equitable remuneration may not be assigned by the author except to a collecting society for the purpose of enabling it to enforce the right on his behalf.

SATELLITE BROADCASTING

The Satellite and Cable Directive harmonises the application of national copyright laws to satellite broadcasts.

Because satellite broadcasts into the EEA may emanate from countries outside the EEA, the Regulations state that such non-EEA broadcasts shall also comply with the prevailing copyright legislation in the EEA. Minimum safeguards (in relation to copyright, performing rights, and equitable remuneration) will apply to satellite broadcasts where either the uplink station is located in the EEA or the person established in the EEA has commissioned the making of the broadcast.

Cable Re-transmission provisions

The Satellite and Cable Directive also provides that the re-transmission rights of copyright owners other than the broadcasting organisations are to be exercised only through a licensing body. So where the provider of a cable programme service receives and then re-transmits a broadcast made from another EEA State, the owner of the re-transmission right in any copyright work (other than the broadcaster) included in the broadcast cannot exercise its rights individually but must do so through a licensing body.

25 YEAR PUBLICATION RIGHT

The majority of the provisions dealing with the Duration Directive were implemented by the Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995. The SI fulfills another provision of the Copyright Duration Directive: the creation of a new 25 year protection for works in which copyright has expired but which have not previously been made available to the public. This new publication right expires at the end of the period of 25 years from the end of the year in which the work is first published.

The work must first be published in the EEA for the right to arise. The right entitles its owner to exclusive rights similar to those granted by copyright, but not moral rights.

OTHER PROVISIONS

The SI also moves existing performing rights closer to the copyright model. Performing rights become like property rights, transmissible as personal or moveable property. Performers also acquire rental and lending rights in relation to recordings of live performances.

Principal directors of films are to be treated for copyright purposes as authors of these works (though producers, as in UK, may remain co-authors).

For further advice please contact us.

This newsletter is correct to the best of our knowledge and belief at the time of going to press. It is, however, written as a general guide, so it is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before any action is taken.

Garretts is authorised by the Law Society of England and Wales to carry on investment business.

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