Consultation outcome

Section 73 Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Detail of outcome

This document sets out the government’s response to the technical consultation.

The technical consultation sought views on:

  • whether the licensing of underlying rights would change following the repeal of Section 73

  • whether a transition period is required

  • whether a rights clearance mechanism should be introduced

On the basis of the responses received, we have concluded that:

  • rightsholders, broadcasters, and cable providers do not agree as to the potential value (if any) of underlying rights following the repeal of Section 73. This suggests that discussions between these parties will need to take place

  • Section 73 can be repealed without a transition period

  • no compulsory structure for licensing needs to be introduced

The technical consultation also considered the repeal of Schedule 2 (19) (Performers’ Rights). The majority of respondents who provided a view on this part of the consultation could see no issues with removing it from the CDPA. Therefore, it will be repealed alongside Section 73.

The government would like to thank all respondents for their contributions.

Original consultation


The Intellectual Property Office is inviting comments on transitional arrangements following the repeal of Section 73 (cable retransmission).

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

Following the Balance of Payments consultation carried out by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2015, the government decided to repeal Section 73 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 (CDPA). Section 73 provides that the retransmission of the Public Service Broadcasters’ (PSBs) core channels (all BBC Channels, ITV1, and Channel 4 and 5’s core channels) via cable is exempt from copyright fees.

The DCMS consultation examined the relationship between platforms and PSBs. However, the government recognises that a new rights market will emerge as a result of the repeal of Section 73. This means that relationships between PSBs, cable providers and rights holders will change when Section 73 is repealed. As a result of the outcome of the DCMS consultation, this further consultation is needed to assess:

  • the potential future rights market
  • how copyright owners (e.g. scriptwriters, performers) in any underlying content in cable retransmissions may choose to administer their rights
  • whether transitional periods are required to help the market adapt to new licensing structures


Published 24 October 2016
Last updated 10 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Government Response added.

  2. First published.