UK Copyright Exhaustion Regime

What would be the advantage to UK citizens if the Government was to make the proposed change resulting in an ‘international exhaustion regime’?

The answer is that there isn’t one other than a convenient and easy way out of the Government’s self-imposed problem with the Northern Ireland Protocol.  Maintaining a national exhaustion regime would unfortunately conflict with the Northern Ireland Protocol because of Brexit.

This is yet another example of the fallout from the botched Brexit deal that the Prime Minister concluded in order to force Brexit through in haste and desperation.  An election promise he is following through on!

And so, there is the appearance of opening a consultation for input from businesses – the Government has admitted that it has already entered into treaties that limit its options.  It has also said that a national regime would conflict with the Northern Ireland Protocol which guarantees the free flow of goods across the Irish (and therefore EU) / UK border in Northern Ireland – meaning they are more likely to go for an international regime as a default position.

It therefore seems that the best that could be hoped for is some kind of mixed regime where exemptions are made (medicines comes to mind), though I would guess that books may not figure very high in their list of priorities.

I very much empathise with authors about this worrying situation.  Certainly, authors and other holders of copyrights held in the UK are going to suffer.

You can be sure that I will do all I can to oppose the Government’s move to abandon support for authors in this way.