United Kingdom: Digital Economy Act 2017

June 30, 2018

United Kingdom: The Digital Economy Act 2017 ("the 2017  Act") was enacted on April 27, 2017, and entered into force on different dates.

The Act amends, inter alia, the Public Lending Right Act 1979, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the Registered Designs Act 1949, the Broadcasting Act 1996 and the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003.

Sections 31 to 34 of Part 4 entitled "Intellectual Property" of the 2017 Act (which entered into force on July 31, 2017, October 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018) introduce amendments to these Acts, concerning the following: (i) enabling the lending of e-books by public libraries; (ii) providing reforms to offences for online copyright infringement (increasing the maximum sentence from two to ten years); (iii) creating a new online design registration system, known as "webmarking", making it easier for design owners to protect their rights; and (iv) repealing legislation which stipulates that copyright is not infringed when a public service broadcast is retransmitted by cable.