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Patent Office swamped by EU Copyright Directive response

Will miss EU deadline

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The Patent Office will miss the European Union Copyright Directive "transposition" deadline of 22 December deadline. In other words, it's not ready to draft EUCD-compliant provisions for Parliament to wave through to UK law.

In a "progress" report published yesterday, Teresa Arnesen, Copyright Directive, UK Patent Office, noted that "almost 300 responses have been received from interest groups and individuals to our consultation document, and analysis of these is underway.

We very much appreciate the efforts of respondents in formulating their views in such a generally clear way and in submitting them to us so promptly. However, the sheer volume of replies, together with the fact that many present detailed arguments and suggestions for alternative drafting, mean that the present analysis will not be completed quickly. A full and proper consideration of all the responses is our principal concern, and the natural consequence of this is that the deadline set by the Directive for implementation is no longer attainable."

The Patent Office says it will "endeavour to implement the Directive by 31 March 2003 at the very latest".

The progress report is here.

Finally, if you're in the Cambridge, UK area, you may be interested in this evening's talk by Martin Keegan of the Campaign for Digital Rights "on the nature and impact of the new copyright laws being brought into force in the UK and across Europe". Venue, time etc. ®

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