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E-petition Against ERRB Copyright Legislation

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Category: Industry News

E-petition Against Copyright Legislation - An E-petition set up to demand that the government makes a u-turn on ERRB copyright legislation has already gained over 3,000 signatures.

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Over 3,000 photographers have already signed an e-petition to get the government to make a u-turn on copyright changes that enable orphaned photos to be used without the permission of the owner.

The e-petition calls the changes 'legalised theft of digital artworks', and asks that photographers sign it, as well as share it around as much as they can to demand the government make a u-turn on the new laws.

The e-petition says the laws have been 'rushed through parliament with no thought'.

To sign the petition, and for more information, visit the HM Government e-petition page.

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pulsar69  91611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
1 May 2013 - 1:56 PM

signed Smile

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1 May 2013 - 3:07 PM

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franken e2 Member 112914 forum postsfranken vcard Wales4 Constructive Critique Points
1 May 2013 - 3:07 PM

And me!

spr  4 United States
1 May 2013 - 4:06 PM

The same country that says you can't make a photo of a red bus crossing a bridge without being in copyright violation? Kinda funny.

fivefour  2
2 May 2013 - 12:27 AM

As of now 4,445 signatures.

ventile  6152 forum posts Wales
2 May 2013 - 12:52 AM




Oh, the furore. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act has photographers up in arms after pundits released broad-brush statements to the effect that ‘The government have made a law that removes my copyright control from my photographs’.

UK photographers have responded angrily, saying (in a variety of ways) that the new Act means that anyone anywhere can strip the data from a photograph that they want to use, declare it an ‘orphaned work’ (one for which the originator cannot be found) and use it as they wish without any payment. So once again the government are vilified in the electronic press and on forums because someone took what someone else said as correct.

This vitriol is fairly typical of our reactionary times and, as is so often the case, based on opinions that are not quite correct because the ‘respected authors’ have reacted to the headline without examining the content.

ERR has to comply with the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, in which there are already certain provisions for the use of images and textual extracts without payment to the originator or author or, as appropriate, any estate. UK law already complies with the Berne Convention.

Amongst other things, the Act repeals S52 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, which limited a design’s copyright period to ‘the life of the originator plus 25 years’ – a measure taken despite international law maintaining the copyright for 70 years after the originator’s death. The UK will fall into line with the international community on design, as it already does with other creative works – such as photographs.

Ranting about ‘diligent search’ quality – in that people wanting to use an image will just say that they conducted a diligent search – is such a waste of time and effort. The search is to be conducted under an existing commercial process, approved by government, following application (and payment, of course) from an intending user. Part of the payment will, no doubt, cover the administrative cost of the search with the remainder going into a Royalties nest-egg in case the originator suddenly springs up to claim misuse. The original suggestion that the forthcoming 'Use-Authorising' department should conduct searches has been blocked on two grounds.

1.HMG lacks the expertise necessary to do the job efficiently.
2.HMG does not wish to be seen as competing with existing commercial agencies.

Obviously this will all reduce the time and money spent on litigation for copyright breach which, while not mentioned in the committee’s impact assessment, has to be a consideration because of the corresponding reduction of the burden on the Court Service.

The main purpose of this part of the bill is to enable and encourage archives and museums to monetise orphaned works that gather dust in dark corners of storage areas.

I’ve yet to see anyone complaining about the part of the Act that removes the onus on retailers to inform TV Licensing of any sales or rentals of television sets (Wireless Telegraphy Act 1967 (as amended)) because it has become an onerous burden and in part, because of international sales, unenforceable.

I don't think I'll bother to sign the petition as I prefer to avoid appearing uninformed and sheeplike.

Last Modified By Robert_Malcolm at 2 May 2013 - 7:47 AM
2 May 2013 - 8:06 AM

Thank you Robert for that post. I think I need to do some more investigation before I make up my mind.


You're welcome, Nigel.

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