Government Copyright Act 2017 1


Government Copyright Act 2017
BILL 434

An Act to abolish copyright restrictions on public legal information, and to reduce
the duration of other government-owned copyright.
[19th July 2017]

B E IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled,
and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Abolition of copyright in public legal information
(1) The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988() is amended as follows.
(2) In section 164—
(a) for heading "Copyright in Acts and Measures" substitute "No copyright in
public legal information".
(b) In subsection (1), for "Her Majesty is entitled to copyright" substitute "No
copyright, or right in the nature of copyright, subsists".
(c) After subsection (4) insert—
"(5) No copyright, or right in the nature of copyright, including any Crown
or Parliamentary copyright, subsists for any work that is solely public
legal information if its copyright is or would be owned by the Crown or
either House of Parliament.
(6) In this section, "public legal information" includes—
(a) enactments and consolidations of enactments by the Crown;
(b) reasons for judgment by any court, tribunal or person having
authority to decide any matter affecting a person's legal rights or
(c) bills and motions introduced during parliamentary proceedings;
()  c. .
2 Government Copyright Act 2017

(d) debates, reports and committee reports as part of parliamentary
(e) reports of Royal Commissions, commissions of inquiry,
ministerial inquries, or statutory inquiries;
(f) reports of any inquiry established under the Inquiries Act 2005()
or the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921(); and
(g) other materials, prepared or published by or under the direction
or control of Her Majesty, that are specified in regulations made
by an Order made by Her Majesty in Council."
(d) Subsections (2) to (4) are repealed.
(3) Sections 166 to 166D are repealed.

2 Reduction of durations of Crown and Parliamentary Copyright
(1) The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 is amended as follows.
(2) In section 163—
(a) In subsection (3), for the words after "subsists" substitute "until the end of the
period of 25 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was
(b) After subsection (6) insert—
"(7) No Crown copyright subsists for any work that is not specifically
exempted from this subsection by an Order in Council within 60 days
after the work was made.
(8) Subsection (7) does not apply to work made by any government-owned
company unless an Order in Council prescribes that the company is
subject to subsection (7).
(9) For greater certainty, Crown copyright that ceases to subsist under
subsections (7) and (8) may not be retroactively restored by an Order in
(3) In section 165(3), for "50" substitute "25".

3 Short title and commencement
(1) This Act may be cited as the Government Copyright Act 2017.
(2) This Act comes into force on the day on which it is passed.

()  c. .
()  c. .