Changes to Copyright law, great news for designers!

This week the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has again passed through the House of Lords. Proposed changes may see the removal of section 52 of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988, which deals with the exploitation of design derived from an artistic work.

Currently under the CDPA 1988 designs may be freely produced for 25 years after being created, after the changes come into effect, the copyright in a design shall be extended to the life of the author (the person that created the work) plus an additional 70 years. It has been suggested that giving the extra protection to designs will in turn positively encourage British designers, leading to more manufacturing and hence create more jobs.

Conversely it is being argued that although the changes are good news for designers they shall cause a whole load of complications for others, in particular professor of intellectual property at Cambridge University Lionel Bentley commented that although the new changes were beneficial for designers, a lot of people had been critically overlooked including lecturers teaching design, museums and book publishers as they will now have to seek permission before using certain works.

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