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AOP Response to the Hargreaves Review

AOP Response to the Hargreaves Review on IP Report

We welcome some elements of the Review led by Professor Ian Hargreaves but are particularly disappointed with the lack of reform in contract law and the complete ignoring of moral rights, both of which we shall continue to lobby hard for change in, to protect all creators.

We applaud both the rejection of the US Fair Use system in favour of the existing European system of copyright exceptions and the recommendation of an IP small claims track in the Patents County Court for which we have campaigned at length. A simple procedure for claiming damages without expensive legal fees is essential for small businesses to protect their copyright from routine commercial abuse.

The proposal for a Digital Copyright Exchange is scant on detail and potentially fraught with problems. However, we look forward to being part of the process of exploring it further.

To ignore the obvious need for the strengthening of existing moral rights to give creators an automatic, unwaivable right to a credit, before introducing another system to address orphan works, is remiss at best. Given the number of creator-led submissions supporting the overhaul of this area, we are very disappointed that it has been ignored again.

Once again, we are faced with the possibility of extended collective licensing, with the distinct likelihood that it will, once more, extend further than a part solution to orphan works licensing.

We look forward to reading the imminent EU Orphan Works Directive, which we hope will provide for the use of orphan works on a purely non-commercial, cultural use basis, as opposed to the wide and damaging use suggested by the report.

Gwen Thomas
Association of Photographers

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