Date laid: 26 October 2018
Sifting period ends: 15 November 2018
1.The purpose of these draft Regulations, laid by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as a proposed negative, is to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and associated regulations, to correct deficiencies in, and failures of, retained EU law. This is to ensure that the law can operate effectively after the UK’s exit from the EU. The instrument is part of the Department’s contingency planning for a ‘no deal’ scenario and proposes amendments in relation to copyright issues covering a wide range of areas, including satellite broadcasting, copyright duration and the protection of specific database copyrights. The instrument also proposes to revoke EU and UK regulations that enable the temporary portability of online content services across the EU. In practice, this portability allows consumers to access for free their online content services, such as video-on-demand services (for example Netflix or Amazon Prime), online TV services, music streaming services (for example iTunes) and online game marketplaces, while visiting another EU Member State. As a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, UK consumers will lose this right, while in the absence of any intervention, EU consumers would retain their right when visiting the UK. BEIS says that such an imbalance would not be appropriate. Consequently, the instrument proposes to revoke the regulations to restore a level playing field in this area.
2.Given that the range of copyright issues covered in this instrument is extensive, and that the instrument seeks to establish reciprocity in relation to the loss of free access to portable online content services for consumers without providing an assessment of the impact of this loss on UK consumers, the House may expect the opportunity to debate the instrument. We therefore recommend that this instrument should be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.