Consultation outcome

Transitional arrangements for the repeal of section 52 CDPA

This consultation has concluded

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Detail of outcome

Section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 limits the term of copyright protection for industrially manufactured artistic works to 25 years. The consultation included transitional arrangements for the repeal of section 52, including a transitional period until the repeal takes effect and a depletion period for pre-existing contracts to help people adjust to the change in law.

Following the consultation, we have concluded that:

  • the repeal of section 52 will happen on 28 July 2016 (nine months from the start of the consultation period);
  • the depletion period for contracts in place prior to consultation will remain six months following the repeal, but will therefore conclude on 28 January 2017

A further, technical consultation will take place on the changes to Schedule 1 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performance Regulations 1995.

This response has not been published within 12 weeks of the consultation. This was due to the high number of responses with different views, some of which were very detailed. The government had to consider and analyse those responses carefully before making a final decision. A period of 14 days begins at publication for people to consider whether the draft commencement order achieves its intended purpose.

We have also prepared guidance to assist affected businesses, organisations and individuals which is published today.

Feedback received

Responses to Section 52 consultation

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Detail of feedback received

We have published 94 individual responses we received in response to our consultation - there were 95 responses but we have chosen not to publish one at the request of the respondent.

Original consultation


We seek views on new transitional provisions for the repeal of section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The creation of artistic works is an important part of the creative and design sectors. The Government wishes to provide the full term of copyright protection for artistic works, whether created as a one-off or industrially manufactured and sold to consumers across the UK. This will be achieved by repealing section 52 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which reduces the term of copyright protection for artistic works which are produced through an industrial process.

Although transitional provisions had been put in place in March 2015, the Government received a challenge on their compatibility with EU law. The Government decided to reconsider these issues as announced on 23 July. This consultation invites comments on the proposals for the new transitional provisions, covering the time period until repeal, the status of existing stock, the status of copyright works made before 1 June 1957 and the repeal of compulsory licensing provisions.

This consultation is aimed at all interested parties, including creators of works of artistic craftsmanship such as designers; rights holders in those works such as licensees; manufacturers, importers and retailers of two-dimensional or three-dimensional copies of those works; and publishers, museums and educational establishments.


Published 28 October 2015
Last updated 21 April 2016 + show all updates
  1. Public responses and Final government response document added.

  2. Closing date extended to 23 December.

  3. First published.