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Stop43.org.uk Orphan Works New Thinking Proposal

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Category: Industry News

Stop43 proposes New Thinking on Orphan Works - A proposal to rectify deficiencies in current copyright law has been put forward by stop43.org.uk.

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Press Release:


Stop43.org.uk have released their New Thinking - a proposal to replace the failed Digital Economy Bill Clause 43 and enable the cultural use of so-called orphan works in a practical and equitable way. The proposal has been publicly available since 18th May 2010. Response so far from photographers has been overwhelmingly positive.

It has been claimed repeatedly that so-called orphan works are a wasted cultural resource of immense value, and that they are also of great potential economic value. As creators we are opposed to the commercial use of our so-called orphan works, but wish to realise their cultural value and make them available for the cultural enrichment of the nation. We believe our proposal does exactly that, with the additional benefit of stimulating further cultural and economic activity via our proposed National Cultural Archive.

This proposal was first presented at the British Photography Symposium on 8th May 2010. At the end of the presentation a vote was called, asking the audience if they supported the proposal in principle. They expressed almost unanimous support.

Our proposal
We are willing to grant access to our genuine orphan works for strictly non-commercial cultural purposes as defined by creators, quid pro quo for granting of inalienable moral rights, copyright and fair contract law on the German model applied to Intellectual Property, and the implementation of effective measures to re-establish the ownership of current orphan works and prevent the generation of future orphan works.

This access is to be a 'loan', not an exception to or transfer of copyright. Cultural access must not damage the careers of creators or their ability to remain in business and create new work. As soon as an author is rediscovered all control of their work must be returned to them.
  • To enable this we propose some changes to current copyright law and the establishment of a National Cultural Archive, which must be free to use.
  • All costs of cultural access by the nation must be borne by the nation.
  • We want the new Parliament to look at ways to do this and intend to be fully involved in discussions and the drafting of future primary legislation and structures.
This is the first draft of a work in progress. It is viewable on the Stop 43 website, where a PDF version is also available. We invite positive criticism, comment and help, and a mailing list to facilitate this will be available shortly.

Paul Ellis, co-founder of Stop43, says: "Clause 43 was removed from the Digital Economy Bill because the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats understood and appreciated the insurmountable problems inherent in those proposals, as illustrated by Stop43’s viral images and their accompanying arguments. All of these arguments are soundly based on principle and practicality and we have yet to hear of any principled rebuttal of them from any quarter."

"Clause 43’s provisions were and continue to be ardently desired by many sections of “the creative industries” and others, not least because they stood to make or save a great deal of money from their commercial use of our so-called orphan works. Consequently, our efforts continue to replace the inequitable and unworkable proposals contained in the failed Clause 43 with New Thinking, which we believe should benefit everyone. The Conservatives promised in their Manifesto to introduce an Intellectual Property Act and we would like our proposal to be incorporated into that Act."

"Although our proposal concerns itself with photography we believe it could easily be extend to all media types to create a massive cultural and economic resource of immense value, and Stop43 are eager to work with creators active in other media to achieve this."


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