Brexit & Copyright

Much of the UK’s copyright law has its roots in international treaties and is not dependent on membership of the EU. However, there are many aspects of current UK copyright law which are derived from EU directives. These will be incorporated into UK law on Brexit so the law will not change, at least in the short term. One exception is sui generis database rights – following a no-deal Brexit, databases created in the UK are unlikely to qualify for database right protection under EU law. Certain broadcasting rights will be affected too. With the exception of such aspects, copyright law in the UK will be largely unchanged post-Brexit if there is ‘no-deal’.

What will also change is the jurisprudence regarding copyright.  So far as interpretation of the relevant EU directives is concerned, the current position is that the final arbiter of the law is the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).  From the end of the transition period, whilst decisions of the CJEU will no doubt be persuasive, they will no longer be binding on the UK courts.  It is therefore to be expected that over time the case law of the UK and the EU may diverge in some respects.
If you have any questions regarding the impact of Brexit on your intellectual property rights, please contact your usual Marks & Clerk advisor or, alternatively, you can direct your question to the chair of our Brexit committee, Graham Burnett-Hall.

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