Proposals included in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which recently received its second reading in the House of Commons, could result in additional copyright issues for businesses.
The recommended changes to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) would enable the government to introduce legislative changes through secondary, rather than primary, legislation.
Although Business Secretary, Vince Cable pledged that future changes to the copyright framework would still face “proper parliamentary scrutiny”, new regulations introduced through secondary legislation are not analysed to the same degree as Acts.
While this would allow changes to copyright protection to be made quickly where necessary, there is also the possibility that, unless sufficient scrutiny takes place, these amendments would contravene the Copyright Directive, which outlines the exceptions and limitations to copyright protection across Europe.
Should the UK legislation differ from the European perspective, this would create confusion about where businesses stand in terms of protecting their rights.