NUJ response to Copyright Review

| September 5, 2011 | 0 Comments

By Simon Chapman

The Government responded to the Hargreaves Report on Intellectual Property and Growth by accepting the report’s recommendations, including the idea of a Digital Copyright Exchange, and also it seems the commercial use of orphan works.

The NUJ is disappointed with the Government response to Hargreaves report on Intellectual Property, not least because there is still no provision for improving our moral rights, the enforceable right to be identified with a credit or byline, and to defend the integrity of our work. New measures on moral rights could be introduced, along with any legislation that permits the use of works whose creators cannot be identified. “The NUJ wants all creators to have the right to be identified with their work and to ignore this issue would be to guarantee that there was a growing number of “orphan works” and create a system that promotes abuse.”

But the NUJ welcomes the commitment to set up a copyright small claims jurisdiction for cases involving sums of £5,000 or less.

There are also concerns about making exceptions to copyright parody, and that this could encourage the dissemination of falsified news reports.

Our General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet says:  “Journalists should be able to publically claim their work and decide who and how journalistic work is used. This is vital for fostering a creative and sustainable economy able to grow and flourish. Creative rights are vital for journalists to be able to make a living as independent professionals dedicated to making high-quality new work.”

The Hargreaves report is available as a pdf:

Gillian Spraggs of Action on Authors’ Rights has posted an incisive, exhaustively researched and authoritative analysis of Hargreaves and the IPO’s proposals.

Stop 43 have commented on both Gillian Spraggs’ analysis and with their own:   see links on the right of the page.

The European Commission has published a draft directive on the use of orphan works, which is aimed at non-profit use by libraries, archives, museums and public service broadcasters.

Photographic bodies in the UK are unanimous that they do not want commercial use made of orphan works photographs. Changes to copyright licensing and allowing commercial use of orphan works have very serious implications for freelances’ ability to have effective copyright in their own work, and on the functioning of the market in creative content.

“The proposals for the licensing of orphan works would leave the door wide open to commercial exploitation, something that is resolutely opposed by photographers.”

Business Innovation and Skills Committee inquiry into the Hargreaves Review and the Government response - deadline Monday 05 September. The BIS invites submissions of evidence to this inquiry. The Committee will be reviewing the submissions made to the Hargreaves Review and requests that evidence be confined to points not already made in those submissions.

Artists Bill of Rights are urging all creators (including writers and photographers) to make a submission by the deadline and have outlined concerns and suggested what to include in your submission, including the relation of copyright and moral rights to the EU and UK Human Rights legislation and a recent court ruling in the UK.

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