§ Mr. Levitt
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed EC copyright directive on rights of intellectual property in this country. 402W
§ Dr. Howells
[holding answer 9 February 1999]: The draft copyright Directive seeks to harmonise basic rights and exceptions to rights, and to implement a number of international obligations resulting from two new treaties in the copyright field (World Intellectual Property Organisation). United Kingdom copyright law, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, already meets most of the requirements of the draft Directive and the new treaties, but some amendments will be needed. In particular, changes to UK law would be necessary to comply with the regime of compulsory and permitted exceptions in Article 5 of the Directive. Amendments would also be needed to give performers exclusive rights to control "on-demand" transmissions of recordings of their performances, to cater for the fact that protection of technical systems in Article 6 extends beyond what is currently provided in UK law, and to provide for the protection of electronic rights management information as set out in Article 7 of the draft Directive.