Copyright, etc. and Trade Marks (Offences & Enforcement) Act 2002

UK businesses using unlicensed copies of computer software risk having their equipment seized and could face closure under the Copyright, etc. & Trade Marks (Offences & Enforcement) Act 2002.

The Act amends the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in respect of criminal offences, search warrants, powers of seizure and orders for forfeiture; and amends the Trade Marks Act 1994 in respect of search warrants and powers of seizure.

The Copyright, etc. & Trade Marks (Offences & Enforcement) Act 2002 implements the Copyright in the Information Society Directive 2001/21/EC which aims to adapt legislation on copyright and related rights to reflect technological developments and to transpose into Community law the main international obligations arising from the two treaties on copyright and related rights.


Unlicensed copies of computer software


UK businesses using unlicensed copies of computer software risk having their equipment seized and could face closure under the Act. The law also amends both the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 in respect of criminal offences, search warrants, powers of seizure and orders for forfeiture, and the Trade Marks Act 1994 is respect of search warrants and powers of seizure.


New criminal offences


In general, intellectual property laws give private rights that can be enforced by the owners of the rights using civil remedies. In addition, criminal offences have been provided in relation to the making for sale or hire or dealing with the following types of illegal material:

  • Copies of material that is protected by copyright, such as music, films and computer software, that have been made without the authorisation of the copyright owner, ie infringing or pirate copies, and articles that are specifically designed or adapted for making infringing copies of copyright material. See the offences in section 107(1) and (2) in Part I of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
  • Copies of recordings of performances that have been made without the authorisation of the performer(s) or a person having recording rights in the performance, ie illicit or bootleg recordings. See the offences in section 198(1) in Part II of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
  • Devices or other apparatus, including software, that allow people to access encrypted transmissions without paying the normal fee for their reception, ie unauthorised decoders for conditional access transmissions where the transmissions can be either broadcasts, including satellite broadcasts, cable programme services or information society services. See the offences in section 297A in Part VII of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.
  • Goods, packaging or labels bearing a trade mark that has been applied without the consent of the trade mark owner, ie counterfeit goods, and articles that are specifically designed or adapted for making unauthorised copies of a trade mark for use on such goods and other material. See the offences in section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

Further information



Reference


Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

UK/2002/C/25