The UK has recently repealed a fairly obscure bit of copyright law – should you be worried?
Since the repeal of s.52 of the CDPA (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988), on 28 July 2016, the main impact will be felt my manufacturers and distributors of furniture and interior design products. But there may also be an impact on use of 2D images of the affected objects.
As we explained in our previous blog on this subject, s.52 of the CDPA meant that if certain types of artistic work had been exploited industrially (51 or more articles produced) copyright would expire 25 years after first marketing. Artistic works are a broad category, including graphic works, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture and works of artistic craftsmanship. But several classes were carved out, leaving the main class of works affected as industrially produced works of artistic craftsmanship.
There is some debate about what qualifies as a work of artistic craftsmanship. Broadly speaking:
- it should be “artistic”:
- some aesthetic quality is required, although it need not be a work of fine art; and
- evidence of the creator’s intention to create a work of art is relevant.
- it should involve “craftsmanship” evidenced by:
- the exercise of skill on the part of the creator; and
- the creator taking pride in his workmanship.
Typical examples are hand-painted tiles, stained glass, cutlery, needlework, cabinet making and original jewellery.
As a result of the repeal, images, photos or other 2D copies of works of artistic craftsmanship that have been industrially produced will now have protection in the UK for the creator's life plus 70 years. It may now be necessary to review your images library, and any applicable licence agreements, to avoid infringing the revived rights.
You can read more here.