Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill – Radical changes to Copyright law??

The Bill which has not yet been released has received heavy criticism from journalists and photographers renaming it the Instagram Act (with reference to uproar that surrounded the image sharing social network site). A campaign group that represents photographers (Stop 43) is particularly angered at the provisions of the act and has gone so far as to say that the UK, in passing the ERRB has abolished Copyright!

The Department for Innovation and Skills  (BIS) claims the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 has made copyright licensing more ‘efficient’, Stop 43 claim that this means “no longer having to find, get permission from and pay property owners before exploiting their property”……….shocking!! In response to this BIS stated that “the powers do not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright, nor do they allow anyone to use a copyright work without permission and free of charge”.

The reasons behind all the drama

“Orphan works” and “Extended collective licensing”

Apparently the act permits the commercial exploitation of images where information identifying the owner is missing i.e. orphan works (a very high proportion of digital images on the internet today are so-called orphans), the work is then placed into extended collective licensing schemes.

For the first time anywhere globally, the act will allow extensive commercial exploitation of unidentified work, a person that attempts to use a such work has to prove to an independent body that a meticulous search has been carried out to locate the owner of a work (without success) and then may continue on to exploit a work with impunity. The full text of the Bill is set to be released later this week.

Discovered someone infringing copyright in an image or a photograph you own? Contact us at info@lawdit.co.uk

By Rehana Ali, a paralegal at Lawdit that may be contacted at rehana.ali@lawdit.co.uk

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