Digital Economy Act 2017: The pick ‘n’ mix assortment of provisions receives Royal Assent

The Digital Economy Act (the “Act“) finally received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017 and the final text has recently been published. First introduced in the House of Commons in July 2016, it has been the subject of much scrutiny and debate by both Houses of Parliament. With the General Election looming, the legislation was passed in a final sweep as part of the so-called “wash up” period before the dissolution of Parliament.

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UK government publishes 5G strategy

On 8 March 2017, in a speech forming part of the Spring Budget 2017, Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, confirmed that the UK government will invest over £1 billion in the country’s digital infrastructure, targeted at supporting roll-out of full-fibre connections and future 5G communications – with £740 million being invested through the National Productivity Investment Fund.

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ITV & Others v TVCatchup: CJEU rules s.73 CDPA defence not applicable to online streaming of live TV broadcasts

The CJEU has issued its ruling on the latest question referred to it in the long-running dispute between ITV (and others) and TVCatchup, as to whether Article 9 of the InfoSoc Directive permits the UK to retain the defence contained in section 73 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (the “CDPA“) (which permits retransmission of a broadcast by cable to users in the area to which the original broadcast was made). As such, TVCatchup cannot legally provide live streaming of free-to-air broadcasts via the internet in the UK. The decision confirms the protections afforded to copyright holders and originating broadcasters in the UK.

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