May 27, 2016

Important update on the implementation of changes to old rules for copyright protection of “artistic works”

Artistic designs

Whether there is any relevance in the fact that the new implementation date post dates the referendum on membership of the EU is open to debate. Assuming the changes are ever implemented, they will result in artistic works attracting substantially enhanced copyright protection and the importation and sale of copies of those items will be subject to stringent restrictions. As matters stand, after 28 July 2016 it will not be permissible to import or make new copies of artistic works unless these were already contracted for prior to the time of publication of the consultation document which was 16.30 on 28 October 2015. Stock which is imported or made after 16.30 on 28 October 2015 can still be sold prior to 28 July 2016.

Where stock is imported or made after 28 July 2016 this can only be sold or marketed with the express permission of the copyright owner or be subject to some other exemption, and after 28 January 2017 no unauthorised copies can be sold or otherwise put into circulation with express permission or without being subject to an exemption.

We will provide any further updates on this subject as soon as we hear of them.

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