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Historically, section 72(1) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) provided an exception to the right of communication to the public. It allowed organisations that did not charge for admission to show television broadcasts (in public) without needing permission from the owners of some of the rights in those broadcasts. In particular, it meant that such organisations did not need permission from owners of film copyright.
The historical CDPA 1988, s 72 wording led some commercial premises to attempt to rely on the exception to show exclusive subscription television broadcasts without paying for the required commercial licences. This made it difficult, though not impossible, for copyright owners to take legal action to enforce the use of commercial subscriptions, distorting the market between, for example, pubs which pay for commercial subscriptions, and those that use comparatively cheaper unauthorised systems. Following a full government consultation and a subsequent technical review, the government removed the reference to ‘film’ from the CDPA 1988, s 72 exception via the Copyright (Free Public Showing or Playing) (Amendment) Regulations 2016, SI 2016/565, in force from 15 June 2016. For further detail on the changes to CDPA 1988, s 72 and the free public showing or playing of broadcasts, see the July 2016 IPO Guidance and News Analysis: Film removed from section 72 copyright exception.
On the question of how changes
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