United Kingdom Law/Reform/Draft Crown Copyright Bill

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A BILL

To promote the public dissemination of law by restricting the Crown copyright protection of certain works.

WHEREAS it is in the public interest that the law be disseminated as widely as possible;

WHEREAS many countries, including several which share the tradition of the common law, have chosen to promote this public interest by exempting works of a statutory, judicial or administrative nature from copyright protection;

WHEREAS it is equally in the public interest to ensure that authentic versions of works of a statutory, judicial or administrative nature are available in case of conflict or disagreement;

WHEREAS, for this reason, such works are currently protected by Crown copyright in the United Kingdom and in British overseas territories;

WHEREAS, in the light of international experience, the protection of all such works by Crown copyright does not seem necessary to ensure the availability of authentic versions insofar as these are required;

WHEREAS the protection for twenty-five years of the typographical arragement of the Queen’s Printer’s edition of Acts and Measures is sufficient to ensure the availability of authentic versions of these works;

WHEREAS certain authentic versions and their corresponding texts should continue to be protected for other reasons of public interest, notably the protection of children;

WHEREAS, for this reason, Crown copyright protection will continue to be available for unpublished court judgments and for unpublished international agreements, alongside their existing protection under other statutes or the common law;

WHEREAS the regulations of the European Union form an integral part of British law, and the directives of the European Union and the resolutions of the United Nations directly affect the preparation and interpretation of British law;

WHEREAS, for this reason, copyright should not be available for the texts of European Union regulations and directives and United Nations resolutions, without affecting the right of the European Union or the United Nations to produce authentic versions as they see fit;

WHEREAS the copyright in derivative works such as annotated versions and collection shall not be affected;

WHEREAS the application of this Bill to British overseas territories must take account of their particular situations, in consulation with their parliaments in accordance with their constitutional status;

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Copyright in Acts, Measures and statutory instruments

1. For section 164 (copyright in Acts and Measures) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 substitute— “Copyright in Acts, Measures and statutory instruments

164.—

(1) Except as provided in this section, no copyright, or right in the nature of copyright, subsists in an Act of Parliament, Measure of the General Synod of the Church of England or statutory instrument.

(2) Her Majesty is entitled to copyright in the typographical arrangement of the Queen’s Printer’s edition of an Act, Measure or statutory instrument.

(3) The copyright under paragraph (2) subsists from the date of publication for the period provided in section 15.

(4) References in this Part to Crown copyright (except in section 163) include copyright under paragraph (2); and, except as mentioned above, the provisions of this Part apply in relation to copyright under paragraph (2) as to other Crown copyright.

(5) References in this section to an Act of Parliament include—

(a) an Act of the Scottish Parliament or an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and

(b) the text of an Act of Parliament, or an Act of the Scottish Parliament or an Act of the Northern Ireland Assembly, consolidated to include the amendments made by subsequent Acts or statutory instruments.

(6) References in this section to a Measure of the General Synod of the Church of England include Church Assembly Measures.

Copyright in court judgments and treaties

2. In Chapter X of Part I (miscellaneous and general) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, after section 164, insert—

“Copyright in court judgments

164A.—

(1) No copyright, or right in the nature of copyright, subsists in the text of the judgment of any court insofar as such judgment is published or made available to the public with the authority of the court.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect any provision of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 or any rule of law relating to contempt of court.

Copyright in treaties

164B.—

(1) No copyright, or right in the nature of copyright, subsists in the text of a treaty or other international agreement made or entered into by or on behalf of the Crown insofar as the treaty or international agreement has been legally published or made available to the public.

(2) For the purposes of this section only, the following are considered to be international agreements:

(a) the regulations and directives of the European Union and of its predecessor organisations; and

(b) the resolutions of organs of the United Nations.”

Definition of “exempted work”

3. In this Act, “exempted work” means an Act, Measure statutory instrument, published court judgment or published treaty.

Application of new provisions

4.—

(1) The provisions inserted by sections 1 and 2 of this Act apply to existing exempted works.

(2) On commencement, and subject to section 5 of this Act, all copyright subsisting in existing exempted works, except the Crown copyright in the typographical arrangements of the Queen’s Printer’s editions of Acts, Measures and statutory instruments, terminates.

(3) The Crown copyright in the typographical arrangement of the Queen’s Printer’s edition of an Act, Measure or statutory instrument terminates on commencement of this Act if a private copyright in the typographical arrangement would no longer subsist on that date.

Saving for derivative works

5. Nothing in this Act affects—

(1) the copyright in an original literary work which is not an exempted work but which reproduces an exempted work or any part of an exempted work; or

(2) the copyright in the typographical arrangement of a published edition of an original literary work mentioned in paragraph (1) of this section.

Saving for rights and privileges

6. Nothing in this Act affects—

(1) any right or privilege of any person other than the Crown, the European Union or the United Nations under any enactment, except where that right or privilege is a copyright, or a right in the nature of copyright, which has been assigned or licensed by the Crown and which terminates under the provisions of sections 4(2) or 4(3) of this Act;

(2) any right or privilege of the Crown subsisting under an enactment except the entitlement to copyright or to a right in the nature of copyright as expressly provided in this Act;

(3) any right or privilege of the Crown subsisting otherwise than under an enactment;

(4) the right of the European Union or the United Nations or any organs thereof to produce, and to protect by way of a copyright in the typographical arrangement, authentic versions of regulations, directives or resolutions;

(5) any other right or privilege of the European Union or the United Nations or any organs thereof subsisting under an enactment or a rule of law, except the entitlement to copyright or to a right in the nature of copyright as expressly provided in this Act; or

(6) any right or privilege of either House of Parliament, of the Scottish Parliament or of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Interpretation

7.—

(1) References in this Act to Acts include—

(a) Acts of Parliament, Acts of the Scottish Parliament and Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly; and

(b) the text of such Acts consolidated to include the amendments made by subsequent Acts or statutory instruments.

(2) References in this Act to Measures include Measures of the General Synod of the Church of England and Church Assembly Measures.

(3) References in this Act to statutory instruments include Scottish statutory instruments, Welsh statutory instruments and Northern Ireland statutory instruments.

(4) References in this Act to treaties include all international agreements made or entered into by or on behalf of the Crown, including regulations and directives of the European Union and resolutions of organs of the United Nations, but do not include purely oral agreements or understandings.

(5) References in this Act to published works (court judgments or treaties) include works made available to the public but do not include works which have been published or made available to the public—

(a) in contravention of any enactment; or

(b) in contravention of an instruction made pursuant to any relevant statutory or legal power.

Extent

8.—

(1) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

(2) Her Majesty may by Order in Council direct that the provisions of this Act extend to the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands or any overseas territory with such exceptions and modifications as may be contained in the Order.

(3) In making an Order under paragraph (2) of this section, references to sections of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 may be read as being references to sections of the Copyright Act 1956, or of the Copyright Act 1911, that contain equivalent provisions. In particular, Crown copyright may be taken to refer to the right provided by section 39 of the Copyright Act 1956 or by section 18 of the Copyright Act 1911.

Commencement

9. The provisions of this Act come into force on Royal Assent.

Short Title

10. This Act may be cited as the Crown Copyright Act 20__.

Public domain

This work has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its creator, Physchim62. This applies worldwide.
In case this is not legally possible,
the creator grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.
Subject to disclaimers.

See also[edit]