Friday, 24 January 2020

UK will not implement Digital Single Market Copyright Directive

In a written answer today to a question from Jo Stevens MP (Cardiff North), Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, has told us what is hardly a surprise:
The deadline for implementing the EU Copyright Directive [that's 2019/790] is 7 June 2021. The United Kingdom will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the Implementation Period will end on 31 December 2020. The Government has committed not to extend the Implementation Period. Therefore, the United Kingdom will not be required to implement the Directive, and the Government has no plans to do so. Any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the usual domestic policy process.
That's the domestic policy process that in 1988 put in place new legislation that had been needed since at least the Whitford Report ten years earlier. Meanwhile the carefully-considered changes to copyright law (whether you like them or not) that the Directive contains seem destined to pass us by. No "link tax", no change to the law on content-sharing, none of the other good things copyright owners were going to get from the Directive - Google and other platforms must be very happy.

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