As of 30 March 2019 (i.e. when the United Kingdom will leave the European Union), the EU copyright laws will also cease to apply to the United Kingdom, subject to temporary measures which may be applied.

In the document “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of copyright”, the European Commission outlines the consequences produced by Brexit on copyright in the United Kingdom.

The EU legislation applied until now will no longer be effective and the only applicable rules will be the international, multi-lateral treaties on the subject of copyright, to which the European Union and the United Kingdom are party, such as the “WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT)“, “WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT)  eAgreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)“.

As regards copyright, the aforementioned treaties unfortunately do not provide the same guaranteed level of protection as there is today with the application of European copyright legislation. There will be substantial consequences for the following specific aspects:

  • broadcasters;
  • collective rights management (online rights in musical works);
  • orphan works;
  • access to published works for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print-disabled;
  • online content portability: to “transfer” subscriptions for digital contents;
  • a unique database right: legal database protection.