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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
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Relating to the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act ( F1296ZB

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Relating to the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act ( F1296ZB -Devices and services designed to circumvent technological measures).
Following a ruling by the Supreme Court and the CJEU relating to the British Meltwater case in June 2014, which declared that end users could access and view copyright content online without the consent of the copyright owner - what is the legal standpoint on businesses offering, selling, promoting or advertising services, software and devices that aid eventual end users in accessing this content?
The Circumvention legislation within the UK Copyright, Designs & Patents Act state referenced above states that it is an offence for a business to advertise, promote, possess, provide, market or distribute any service or device that is designed or altered for the primary purpose of circumventing copyright & technological measures (such as digital TVsubscription fees).
As I questioned earlier - with the 2014 ECJ ruling that content can be viewed without consent of the copyright owner, is it still an offence for a business to promote or sell services or devices that allow users to view content?
If so, how can it be illegal to promote and sell something that has been deemed to be legal and lawful by the ECJ?
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I can wait if you can keep me updated please - i recently asked another question on this site and didn't receive a reply or answer for over 3 weeks so I'm happy to wait providing we aren't left for 3 weeks again.

Thank you.

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Thank you for your patience,
Yes, the provisions of the CDPA 1988 ( as amended) are still in force as provided here
The Meltwater case protects end users I.e. People browsing the internet, it does not protect businesses who provide services etc which are designed to circumvent technological measures, see here for an explanation of this
May I help further?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Thanks for your reply.

Do the stipulations set out in circumvention section of the CDP define the terms mentioned?

Does a 'product primarily designed or adapted to circumvent technological measures' include a PC or similar multitasking computing device with a browser or software loaded onto it that simply allows an end user to access to web links?

Does a 'service designed to circumvent effective technological measures' mean an actual technological service such as a technician fitting a satellite dish to a property or could it mean a verbal or advice service of sorts where an individual would simply tell others where to find links to online streaming content?

Also, If promoting, advertising or marketing a product or service that is capable of circumvention is illegal - Is it then also illegal for a person or business to openly reference the law or rulings that state protection for end users when viewing content online? - is it advertising and promoting if no actual marketing is used but the law and legislation is made available?


Thank you.
There is no definition of product or service as such and the product could therefore include a PC and the service could therefore include a technological service but in my opinion not verbal advice unless this was in the course of a service fitting a product and then advising verbally how to circumvent.
Referencing the law and legislation is not illegal, that is informing someone of the legislation.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you again for your time and replies.

I have one last question that i would like clarification / your opinion on and then I will be totally satisfied.

Seeing as though it is lawful for end users to view content online without copyright holders permission - is simple verbal or written advice from anyone (a person or a business) on how / where to view content still classed as facilitating circumvention? Because in theory, we are dealing with 2 kinds of circumvention - unlawful circumvention (such as illegal satellite systems or card sharing technology) and lawful circumvention (simply viewing content online without downloading or copying anything).

I know you said in your opinion verbal advice isn't a service that facilitates circumvention anyway - but if it was, would it be unlawful to advise people on how they can lawfully circumvent, as clarified the by CJEU?

If the verbal advice was given in the context of provision of a service, that would be unlawful in my opinion e.g. If you verbally inform a friend or family member how to do it, that would be fine but if you advise someone paying you for the advice, that would be unlawful.
Hope this clarifies
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience: English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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