Professor Lionel Bently gives opinion on press publishers’ right

22 May 2018

Professor Lionel Bently has published an opinion on the proposed press publishers’ right for online publications, which follows a previous letter of concerns sent to the UK IPO. In the piece “Sleepwalking towards a perpetual (news?) publishers’ right in online publications”, Professor Bently highlights three issues in recent drafts:

(a) nebulous definitions of subject matter. In particular, Professor Bently highlights how the current definition of “press publication” may potentially extend to scientific and academic publications;

(b) the position of international beneficiaries where currently the right is limited to publications “published by publishers in a Member State”; the opinion notes that this provision in the online environment would mean “nothing”;

(c) the duration of the protection of the right. Current proposals have reduced this right to 1 year (from the initially proposed 20 years), though this may be problematic to ascertain in the online environment.