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Campaigns Update - Orphan Works

Campaigns Update

Orphan Works

As predicted, post the Digital Economy Act, this issue has not gone away. Currently the British Copyright Council (BCC) has drafted suggested legislation to deal with the issue, as requested by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Unfortunately, the draft does not address the issues the Visual Arts have demanded of Government before we can support images being part of any Orphan Works legislation - namely:

  • Stronger moral rights
  • Use by cultural organizations for cultural use only
  • Stronger legislation to deal with metadata removal or alteration

Through our membership of the British Photographic Council a paper has been commissioned to represent the Visual Arts, addressing the above issues, and written by lawyer Rupert Grey. The paper will be given to the BCC before they finalise their draft - if the contents of our paper are acceptable to the BCC members then it will be added as a separate section. If the paper is not acceptable to BCC members (bear in mind that the BCC is a broad church which includes publishers as they are also rightsholders) then visual works will be excluded from the BCC proposal.

There are rumours that a draft directive to legislate for Orphan Works is already circulating within the EU – some state that it excludes visual works, but includes literary works. Many literary works, of course, have embedded visual works ……………… ! We’ll let you know as soon as we have sight of the paper.

Protection of Intellectual Property Rights Online - Inquiry by the Culture Media and Sports Committee November 2010

The reply time to this inquiry was a very short one, given that Christmas intervenes between the inquiry being launched (November 20th) and the deadline for submissions (January 7th).

However, due to BT and TalkTalk being given leave to apply for a judicial review of sections of the Digital Economy Act the deadline has been extended to 23rd March 2011.

Our paper will be published here in the New Year.

Review of IP and Growth - Independent review commissioned by David Cameron

This review was announced on the 4th November and will look at:

  • Barriers to new internet-based business models, including the costs of obtaining permissions from existing rights-holders.
  • The cost and complexity of enforcing intellectual property rights within the UK and internationally.
  • The interaction between IP and competition frameworks.
  • The cost and complexity to SMEs of accessing services to help them protect and exploit their IP.

Professor Ian Hargreaves has been tasked with leading the review with a 4 strong team of advisors.

We have been told to expect a consultation document in December  - but in the meantime we will be writing to Professor Hargreaves, along with the ProAction group and British Photographic Council outlining our issues, based on the terms of reference for the enquiry, and requesting a meeting.

Gwen Thomas December 2010

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