Stop43.org.uk stop confiscation of your property and Human Rights in the UK Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill






VOTE! But for whom?

Individual MPs of all parties varied in their position from outright support of us, to indifference, to hostility. This is how they voted.

At the Second Reading, Labour policy was in favour of the entire Bill; Tory policy was in favour of the Bill with Clause 43 removed; Liberal Democrats wanted to retain and amend Clause 43 by limiting use of "orphan" photographs to those made before 1950 and removing photography from any Extended Collective Licensing schemes, but were also against passing the whole Bill in the washup process, wanting it to be deferred to the new Parliament.

By the time of the vote, Labour had moved to remove Clause 43 and both they and the Tories were in favour of the remainder. The Liberal Democrat amendment vanished with Clause 43 and they voted against the Bill. The Bill became an Act without Clause 43.

Clause 43 was removed from the Bill in back-room dealing quid pro quo for Tory support of other clauses. This is why the Government introduced the amendment to remove it, and why the following day Stephen Timms wrote to Frank Dobson that "legislation along similar lines would be introduced in the new Parliament":



“PS. Clause 43 was dropped from the Bill yesterday. Following further reflection, the Government will aim to reintroduce measures along similar lines when an opportunity arises in the new Parliament.”
- Stephen Timms, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; to Frank Dobson MP in a letter dated 8 April 2010.

PLEASE VOTE FOR THOSE WHO HELP US, AND VOTE AGAINST THOSE WHO HINDER US.

Gone, but not forgotten



“PS. Clause 43 was dropped from the Bill yesterday. Following further reflection, the Government will aim to reintroduce measures along similar lines when an opportunity arises in the new Parliament.”
- Stephen Timms, then Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; to Frank Dobson MP in a letter dated 8 April 2010

We would like to suggest to a theoretical future Labour Government that they produce a principled rebuttal of our arguments before they do so. For reference, they are:

The Privacy and Exclusivity Problems
What is a “Diligent Search”?
“Diligent Search” a red herring
The “Market Rate” Myth
Misplaced faith in “Consultation”

and, of course, our guiding principle:

“It is a logical and legal absurdity to talk of licensing works whose authors cannot be identified while there are still significant groups of authors who do not have the right to be identified.”- Viscount Bridgeman, speaking in the House of Lords during debate on the Digital Economy Bill Clause 43

BAPLA, the aftermath, and the future

“It’s not good enough just to win. The losing side needs to know they have lost.” - Genghis Khan
“Victory has a thousand fathers; failure is ever an orphan.” - Jeremy Nicholl

We have won the battle, but the losing side clearly doesn’t understand that they have lost. They appear to regard the vote on April 7th in which Clause 43 was removed from the Digital Economy Bill before it became the Digital Economy Act as a temporary setback, nothing more. This is made apparent by the disappointing and unseemly pronouncements of the British Association of Picture Libraries and Agents (BAPLA), erstwhile “protectors of photographers”, who continue to claim to be exactly that.

The thousands of photographers and other creatives who took part in the Stop43 campaign know what really happened during the past month, because they watched it unfold in real time on Parliament TV, the EPUK, Pro-Imaging and Association of Photographers email lists, the Facebook group, Twitter, and the Stop43 website.

As BAPLA's website statement demonstrates, BAPLA do not appear to understand this. They still seem to be operating on the obsolete command-and-control assumption that they can control the news. They appear not to have realised that photographers already know the truth because they have lived it, and that they are discredited in the eyes of every photographer who actively campaigned in any way.

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” - Will Rogers

Of more concern is Big Culture (museums, galleries, the British Library and others), Big Media (publishers and broadcasters) and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), who have been outflanked by the Stop43 campaign. They won't take that lying down. An Intellectual Property Act is coming and they'll do their best to make it The Return Of Clause 43.

Big Media (also mislabelled the “creative industries”), and their potential gain from Clause 43, we’ve always known about. Unrestrained they tend to act like greedy landlords, thinking only of today, bullying their tenant farmers into selling the seed-corn of professional contributors in return for this year’s profit, hoping that next year’s crop will simply spring, unsown and crowd-sourced, from the ground.

But Big Culture? They and the BBC also stood to be big winners from Clause 43. From an initial position of needing simply for conservational purposes to be able to digitise cultural artefacts such as decaying film stock, audio recordings, negatives and prints, their wants and wishes grew to an all-encompassing desire to make all culture freely available, including contemporary culture, rather in the manner of Google Books.

Doubtlessly this was all egged on by questionable EU assertions of the “economic value” of so-called orphan works, conveniently forgetting that they are not “orphans” at all - each one, in copyright, is someone’s lost property.

And so Big Culture, apparently ignorant of the economic realities of professional creatives’ lives and forgetting that the bulk of the artefacts that they conserve and curate are the products of highly-skilled professionals (how does one acquire the skill to work at the highest levels without that work being one’s full-time occupation?), set about an intellectual property land-grab so extensive that it would have inevitably terminated the businesses and careers of most professional creatives. What task will they leave to future cultural conservators if their overarching scorched-earth desires wipe us out?

We’re not really surprised. Big Culture is largely staffed by salaried career administrators, relatively few of whom have direct experience of or real sympathy with the freelance professional creative life. No wonder they know not what they do. It’s time for us to tell them.

And then there is the whole “consultation” process that spawned Clause 43, from Gowers onwards. The participants all spent a long time studying, negotiating under the threat of the EU Big Stick of wide-ranging copyright exceptions and the IPO's unwavering assertion that inalienable moral rights are non-negotiable (because Big Media find them “onerous” and too expensive), and between them constructed a latticework “solution” that they remain persuaded to be the best available under the circumstances.

They all have a huge emotional investment in the work they have done and “solution” they have negotiated, and now that they see it under threat from ignorant hooligans they continue irrationally and aggressively to defend it. Never mind that their “solution” lacks all principle. In this whole debate, we have not once heard our central thesis or arguments gainsaid from a moral or legal standpoint. All we have heard are the bleatings and tantrums of special interests and the fabricated enumerations of supposed economic gain.

The IPO’s position is interesting.

The default position of all photographers’ “representative organisations” has always been that there can be no discussion of so-called “orphan works” licensing without a corresponding implementation of inalienable moral rights. The IPO wrote to a Stop43 activist:

“Ministers are not willing to change the existing law (which has been in place since 1988) in a way that one of the two parties affected is strongly opposed to." - referring to Big Media.

And so, instead, the IPO proposed to change the existing law (which has been in place since 1988) in a way that one of the two parties affected is strongly opposed to. Photographers.

The IPO can and will produce fabricated enumeration of the economic value of the commercial use of so-called orphan works that will always trump any economic damage to the photographic constituency that we can enumerate. Cost-benefit will always be on their side. Photographers’ only substantial arguments thus far have been moral, ethical and legal, and that is what the legislative process is supposed to be.

If the IPO’s original task was just to build an economic case for so-called Orphan Works Licensing and Extended Collective Licensing, they have made a good job of it. Unfortunately for them, life isn't merely economic. If it were, we'd also have the return of public hangings with ticket sales and media rights, because that could also be shown to be of overall economic benefit. Morals and ethics preclude it.

What next?

Big Media must accept inalienable moral rights for photographers, copyright and Fair Contract law applied to Intellectual Property as it is in Germany. The Germans clearly have:

•• an equivalent of the BBC
•• an equivalent of the British Library
•• an equivalent of Bauer Publishing
•• a local News Corporation operation.

Germany doesn't appear to be a publishing wilderness, so why should the UK become one, if we have our moral rights?

• Big Culture must abandon its overarching ambition to be the free delivery conduit of all forms of culture, past and present, at the expense of the businesses and careers of professional creatives. Digital preservation of decaying artefacts and the making of those digital copies available to the public for strictly cultural use must suffice. Our so-called “orphan works" are not little golden coins lying on the ground for the "creative industries" to pocket and the "cultural sector" to support itself with. Instead, Big Culture must content itself with commercial exploitation of work of known provenance that it has been bequeathed. Our ideas will help them. Read on.

• Photographers and other creatives must grasp the initiative and develop their own ideas for a proper solution to the so-called “orphan works” problem. We have, and we are, and given that perhaps surprisingly we’re not terribly vindictive people our initial thinking points to a possible solution that could result in a reasonable win for all, rather than the winner-takes-all for Big Media and Big Culture versus obliteration of freelance professional creatives of Clause 43. It will have to pass the Berne three-step test first, assuming that it is possible for any use at all of so-called “orphan works” to pass that test.

Because of the conflict of interests their membership appears to represent, BAPLA might best be advised to get out of the negotiating and lobbying game altogether. Their current attempts to rewrite widely-known recent history and save face with their sponsors are unseemly and should stop.

When I saw my (excellent) MP and she asked me why we'd left it so late to act, I said: "we'd been relying on our professional associations to negotiate on our behalf." "Always a mistake", she immediately replied. Lesson learned.

The result:



Today, The Digital Economy Bill underwent its Committee Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons. In the course of the debate,
Clause 43 was removed from the Bill.

The way is now open for photographers and other creatives to present
new thinking enabling the legitimate use of our genuine orphan works for strictly defined non-commercial “cultural” purposes in a way that will satisfy the needs of the cultural sector, to prevent the future orphaning of our work, and to redress defects in current copyright law.

Heartfelt thanks to all who have helped make this result possible.

Labour Party submits amendment before today's debate

Today the Labour Party tabled the following amendment to the Digital Economy Bill:

Digital Economy Bill[Lords], continued


Secretary Ben Bradshaw
   
* Page  52,  line  12,  leave out Clause 43.

But it’s not over yet. It has been pointed out that this could be a tactical amendment to test the strength of cross-party opposition to Clause 43. It may be withdrawn, with Government then confident of pushing Clause 43 through the Wash-Up.

Keep up the pressure, please.

Clause 43 stands or falls today - ACT NOW

Today really is the day. Given the intensely controversial nature of the way the Digital Economy Bill is being run through Parliament, we were unsure of the exact procedure and schedule. Now we know that it will have its Committee Stage, Third Reading and be voted on in the space of around two hours this afternoon. We also know that our opponents were lobbying intensively all day yesterday, throughout the Second Reading.

IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO GET OUR MESSAGE ACROSS TO THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS. A full list of them is here.

You have the sources of information, the arguments to use, and the tools.
PLEASE USE THEM NOW. It doesn't matter if effort is duplicated - the more, the better. All content on stop43.org.uk is free for use in reporting this story.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

http://www.stop43.org.uk/
http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/
http://copyrightaction.com/category/campaigns/digital-economy-bill

ARGUMENTS TO USE

Open Letter to Liberal Democrats
We are the authentic voice of photographers
Overall outline, plus problems in detail
The Government’s position rebutted, point by point
Our objections to LibDem amendments, including statement of photographers' current copyright problems
"Viral" images, each illustrating an aspect of Clause 43's problems
The Privacy and Exclusivity Problems
What is a "Diligent Search"?
"Diligent search" a red herring
The "Market Rate" Myth
Misplaced faith in "Consultation"

TOOLS

Virals
Twitter
Facebook
LibDem MPs list
Key MPs list
BIS Select Committee members list

PLEASE USE THEM NOW. Thank you.

Open Letter to the Liberal Democrats

Don Foster MP, Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, and Olympics

Dear Mr Foster

As a result of today’s Second Reading in the House of Commons and the Liberal Democrats’ stated wish to amend rather than delete Clause 43, we feel it necessary to restate our position to you, so that there should be no misunderstanding.

1. It is morally and legally indefensible to demand the use of existing orphan works without simultaneously enacting effective measures to prevent the generation of future orphan works. We need such measures quid pro quo for conceding any use of any kind of our orphaned intellectual property. This is our property, remember.

2. You propose to exempt photographs made after 1950 from any Orphan Works scheme.



With the greatest of respect to others we would submit that we, photographers, some of us professionally active before 1950 and still active, are the authority on this subject. We have conferred among ourselves and cannot conceive of a reliable way to accurately identify that cut-off point for a very substantial proportion of photographs.

The problem also remains of damage to the residual value of pre-1950 photographs bequeathed in wills to photographers' children and successors. Although an admittedly small number of photographers will be very significantly affected in this way, we see no reason why they should suffer when we believe that our new thinking, which we promise to work with you to realise, might avoid such damage whilst simultaneously giving the cultural sector what they say they need.

3. You propose to exempt photography from any Extended Collective Licensing schemes.

In our view and experience, current copyright law suffers from significant defects in the way it applies to photography. We have already pointed out some of them in detail. The removal of photography from Extended Collective Licensing proposals will result in photography simply not being discussed when secondary regulation is drafted. As a consequence, this opportunity for professional photographers’ crying need for the defects in current copyright law to be addressed will be lost, perhaps for a generation. We will have no chance to re-negotiate inalienable moral rights or proper sanctions against copyright infringement, which could be raised if Clause 43 is deleted, and upon which point all photographers’ organisations, the NUJ, BAPLA, Getty Images and others are unanimous.

We urge the Liberal Democrats to consider what we believe to be the impracticality and negative consequences of your proposed amendments, withdraw them, and vote with the Conservatives to remove Clauses 43 and 46 from the Digital Economy Bill. This will allow the beneficial public and cultural intent underlying Clause 43 to be reintroduced in subsequent primary legislation after proper consideration, rather than in trying to amend something which we believe to be fundamentally flawed and unworkable.

In his speech, John Whittingdale MP, Chairman, Culture, Media & Sport Committee, stated that Clause 43 is not fit for purpose; Clause 46, if it is a Henry VIII clause, should not be passed. We, of course, agree.

Thank you.

Tories will not let Bill progess with Clause 43 still included

In reply to a question by Kate Hoey MP, Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Conservative lead on the Digital Economy Bill confirmed that Tories will not let the Digital Economy Bill progress through washup into law while it still includes Clause 43.

There has been no specific mention of Clause 46, the Henry VIII clause that allows the Secretary of State to amend at will the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988 and any “Digital Economy Act 2010”.
It empowers the Secretary of State to undo all of the changes to the Digital Economy Bill that have been so carefully negotiated, and make new changes. It is a “Henry VIII Clause” enabling changes to be made in pre-existing primary legislation by way of secondary legislation enacted via Statutory Instruments. A Secretary of State with a whipped majority can do more or less whatever he likes under Clause 46.

Tories "cannot support Clause 43"

Jeremy Hunt in the House of Commons at 16:50 BST.

"Superaffirmative Resolution Procedure" not enough

Harriet Harman has just announced that regulations implemented via Statutory Instruments will require "superaffirmative resolution procedure".

#deb
#stop43

THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. CLAUSE 43 OUT.

Tweet now, please. Use the
Tweet an MP site.

Second Reading today - ACT NOW

Today is the day. You have the sources of information, the arguments to use, and the tools. PLEASE USE THEM NOW. It doesn't matter if effort is duplicated - the more, the better. All content on stop43.org.uk is free for use in reporting this story.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

http://www.stop43.org.uk/
http://www.jeremynicholl.com/blog/
http://copyrightaction.com/category/campaigns/digital-economy-bill

ARGUMENTS TO USE

We are the authentic voice of photographers
Overall outline, plus problems in detail
The Government’s position rebutted, point by point
Our objections to LibDem amendments, including statement of photographers' current copyright problems
"Viral" images, each illustrating an aspect of Clause 43's problems
The Privacy and Exclusivity Problems
What is a "Diligent Search"?
"Diligent search" a red herring
The "Market Rate" Myth
Misplaced faith in "Consultation"

TOOLS

Virals
Twitter
Facebook
Key MPs list
BIS Select Committee members list

PLEASE USE THEM NOW. Thank you.

Tories very likely to "robustly oppose" Clause 43



We have reasons to be confident that the Conservative Front Bench will set out robust opposition to Clause 43 in tomorrow's debate. Please don’t forget Clause 46: it, too, has to go. It empowers the Secretary of State to undo all of the changes to the Bill that have been so carefully negotiated.

The Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild joins stop43.org.uk

A warm welcome to OWPG.

The Proposed Lib Dem amendments - our objections in detail

Stop43 have been asked to provide a more detailed explanation of our objections to the Liberal Democrats’ proposed amendments to Clause 43 of the Digital Economy Bill.

The Proposed Amendments:

Exempt recent photography from orphan works licensing

* Clause 43, page 52, line 20, at end insert 'subject to subsection (1A) below.

(1A) The regulations may not authorise the grant of a licence in respect of works of photography created after 1950.'

Exempt photography from extended licensing

* Clause 43, page 53, line 7, at end insert -

', or

(c) in respect of works of photography.'

Our Objections

1. We have stated our guiding principle, perfectly articulated by Viscount Bridgeman:

“It is a logical and legal absurdity to talk of licensing works whose authors cannot be identified while there are still significant groups of authors who do not have the right to be identified.”

It is morally and legally indefensible to demand the use of existing orphan works without simultaneously enacting effective measures to prevent the generation of future orphan works. We need such measures quid pro quo for conceding any use of any kind of our orphaned intellectual property. This is our property, remember.

Such measures must be practically enforceable. It is already illegal under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 amendment 296ZG of 2003 to knowingly strip metadata. It is almost impossible to prove that metadata was stripped knowingly with deliberate intent to infringe, facilitate or conceal infringement; consequently this provision is in practice unenforceable, as will be any similar provision.

2. In current copyright law, the financial penalties for copyright infringement are no greater than the licence fee payable had the infringed work been properly licensed before use. This creates a positive incentive for publishers to infringe because many of their infringements go unnoticed and unchallenged, with the result that their overall costs are significantly lower than if they legally licensed all of their content.

Photographers and other creatives suffer daily from the economic and misrepresentative consequences of such systemic infringement of their copyright. Among many, many others, The BBC is a known habitual serial infringer in this way and daily generates new orphans by the thousand, as a consequence of images uploaded to its website having their metadata stripped in the process. We are photographers - we have the evidence.

Preventing the use of orphan photographs made prior to 1950 (assuming that a workable method for reliably identifying such photographs can be found) will result in professional photographers’ crying need for the defects in current copyright law to be addressed to be accorded a much lower priority than if contemporary orphan photographs were also to be licensable. The removal of photography from any Extended Collective Licensing scheme will result in photography simply not being discussed when secondary regulation is drafted.

The combined effect of the two proposed amendments will be to accord a very low priority to rectification of the defects in current copyright law. The end result will almost certainly be the loss of any remaining opportunity to re-negotiate inalienable moral rights or proper sanctions against copyright infringement, which could be raised if Clause 43 is deleted, and upon which point all photographers’ organisations, the NUJ, BAPLA, Getty Images and others are unanimous.

We have already stated that we wish to be given the opportunity to introduce new thinking into this debate. Your amendments will deny us that opportunity.

Our new thinking will provide the “cultural sector” with what it says it needs. Sadly, we cannot necessarily provide what it wants, or what it might like, because the economic consequences of those wants and likes will probably terminate our businesses, and professional careers with them. The “cultural sector” - museums, galleries and libraries - collect, conserve and curate cultural artefacts. What task will they leave to future conservators if their scorched-earth wants and needs wipe out the current generation of professional creatives?

We believe that there is no viable middle way. We call upon the Liberal Democrats to withdraw their proposed amendments and act now to remove Clauses 43 and 46 from the Digital Economy Bill.

Liberal Democrats propose amendments to Clause 43 for Second Reading

The Liberal Democrats will try to introduce these amendments to Clause 43 on Tuesday, when it receives its Second Reading, and probable wash-up, in the House of Commons.

Don Foster MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary, and Olympics, has said in an email to Stop43:

“The LibDem team is clear that many of the bits of clause 43 are important BUT that the particular case of photography has got wrapped up in it in a way which isn't right... we are trying to do something more immediately and are seeking amendments to remove photography from the legislation. They are listed below.”

Exempt recent photography from orphan works licensing

* Clause 43, page 52, line 20, at end insert 'subject to subsection (1A) below.

(1A) The regulations may not authorise the grant of a licence in respect of works of photography created after 1950.'

Exempt photography from extended licensing

* Clause 43, page 53, line 7, at end insert -

', or

(c) in respect of works of photography.'

We recognise and appreciate the good intentions behind this attempt. Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.



1.
The Liberal Democrats reckon that they can tell a photograph made after 1950 from one made before. How? Carbon dating? Does this mean therefore that the Liberal Democrats now consider that it is reasonable to allow the use of orphan works while allowing them to continue to be mass produced? This is the fundamental flaw with Clause 43, and why at this stage, and because of Government's truncation of due Parliamentary process, we believe its removal is the only viable option.

2.
The Liberal Democrats want to exempt photography from Extended Collective Licensing. That is a substantial improvement on the current wording but leaves no door open to re-negotiate inalienable moral rights or proper sanctions against copyright infringement, which could be raised if Clause 43 is deleted, and upon which point all photographers’ organisations, the NUJ, BAPLA, Getty Images and others are unanimous.

3. Stop 43 and EPUK were informed last Monday, 29th March, that there was
little or no chance of further amendments being made to the Bill - only wholesale removal of clauses or subclauses. How confident are the Liberal Democrats of getting their amendments read, voted on and incorporated?

4.
If the Liberal Democrats fail in their attempt, what is their fallback position? Enact Clause 43 or delete it? Please forgive us, but we have little faith in the implementation of assurances given by the present Government, won as concessions in return for the withdrawal of Lord Clement-Jones’ Amendment to remove Clause 43.

After the Second Day of the Lords Report Stage
Lord Clement-Jones, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Culture, Media and Sport, wrote the following to EPUK about the briefing paper we sent to him and his use of it in his Amendment to remove Clause 43:

“I certainly did base my remarks on your paper-immensely useful. It's always annoying to have to pull punches and not be able to vote but we wouldn't have won sadly. That means I just had to make threats about how we would scrutinize the regulations, and we will. In practice I think if you keep up the campaign they will find it very difficult to include commercial photographers in the Orphans works regulations.”

We read that as saying that the Liberal Democrats wanted Clause 43 removed but felt that they would not have won a vote in the Lords if they had insisted upon it. Why has their position subsequently changed?

We believe that there is no viable middle way. We call upon the Liberal Democrats to withdraw their proposed amendments and act now to remove Clauses 43 and 46 from the Digital Economy Bill.

As concerned photographers we, and we hope other photographers and creatives, recognise that there are legitimate "cultural" uses for orphan works and are eager to help. Given that this is probably the first occasion on which creatives en masse have had their views properly heard in this debate (as distinct from their "representatives", the "
creative industries"), we wish to be given the opportunity to introduce new thinking into this debate. We are willing and ready to help start building a new primary-legislation Bill to replace Clause 43, and to define and implement our new thinking.

NUJ London Photographers' Branch votes against Clause 43

At their meeting on March 30th the NUJ London Photographers' Branch passed the following motion:

“This Branch backs the Stop 43 campaign to knock Clause 43 out of the Digital Economy Bill, condemns this government's attempt, in its last days, to force this highly controversial measure through the House of Commons without any debate, and calls on the next to introduce Moral Rights in full for all creators.”

Copyright Action website suffers apparent denial-of-service attack

The Copyright Action website appears to be suffering a denial-of-service attack. The site was knocked offline last night because it had breached its bandwidth limit. Investigation has revealed a high level of suspicious web traffic, matching the typical pattern of that caused by an automated attack from a botnet.

What a coincidence that this should happen just when the site’s information is of most use to Clause 43’s opposition, and most damaging to the Clause’s supporters. We wonder what could have caused it.

Copyright Action busts bandwidth limit

An avalanche of hits on Copyright Action’s pieces Big Money Breaks Cover and Why The IPO Is Wrong have pushed the site over its bandwidth limit this morning. The site is back online again now.

David Lammy's creative letter

A photographer in Alistair Darling’s constituency has received the following, attached to Darling’s reply to his letter. Extracts have also appeared in other Labour MPs’ letters to their constituents, such as that from Michael Wills:

Dear Alistair

Thank you for your letter ... enclosing correspondence from your constituent xxx xxxxx... I am replying as Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property.

I am aware of the concern held by some photographers that orphan works legislation will create a means for content users to appropriate content at an unfairly low cost or for free. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that this is absolutely not the case. If any orphan works schemes are created that cover photographic works then any use of an orphan work under such a scheme can only take place after a properly diligent search has been carried out [he should read this]. The use will also require payment of a fair licence fee [and then this], and this fee will be held safely and available to be claimed by the rightful owner should they come forward. [And if they don’t, what becomes of the money? Does it go bona vacantia to the Treasury? No-one knows for sure - it’s not defined in the Bill. In time this could become a substantial pot of money.]

The Government's intention is that there should be no financial advantage from mis-identifying a work as an orphan work and that deliberate or negligent mis-identification should carry an appropriate penalty [read this again please, David].

Nothing in the Bill alters a photographer's ownership of copyright or moral rights in their work, or interferes with their licensing arrangements for that work. [Nothing is in the Bill to do that. The Bill confers powers for that to be done later in secondary legislation without proper parliamentary debate.]

As these concerns have been raised by a number of MP's and photographers, the Intellectual Property Office has published a web page which contains detailed information about the proposals. I believe this webpage addresses the issues raised by your constituent, and I would be grateful if you could pass on the following link:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-types/pro-copy/c-policy/c-policy-orphanworks /c-policy-orphanworks-photo.htm

[And then he really should read this.]

I hope this information is helpful

Signed

David Lammy

The Rt Hon David Lammy MP, Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property has a Master’s Degree in Law from Harvard University.

Stop43.org.uk Facebook group tops 1,100 members

From a standing start less than a week ago, the Stop43.org.uk Facebook group now has more than 1,100 members.

Getty Images opposes Clause 43 in joint statement

Getty Images, a new and powerful voice in the Orphan Works debate, today announced its concerns over the provisions in Clause 43 by signing a statement drafted by BAPLA and jointly released by

The Association of Photographers (AOP)
British Association of Picture Libraries and Agencies (BAPLA)
Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS)
National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
The Royal Photographic Society (RPS)
Getty Images

Understandably couched in diplomatic language, the statement nonetheless makes clear that

content creators, rights holders and the imaging industry continue to have concerns about the practical implementation of the Bill’s intentions and also whether it will hinder, rather than enhance, the wider digital economy”.

It is gratifying to see another industry alliance emerge to complement stop43.org.uk in publicly questioning the supposed benefits to be bestowed upon the imaging industry, photographers, and the general public by the Bill’s provisions.

We would hope that the fact that a $2 billion corporation such as Getty Images, a dominating force in the photographic industry, should be voicing its concern in this public manner will not be lost on Clause 43’s avid proponents in the Intellectual Property Office, BIS and elsewhere and give them pause to consider the practically unworkable nature of their current proposals.

FULL STATEMENT TEXT

The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers joins stop43.org.uk

A warm welcome to SWPP and BPPA, a voice previously unheard in this debate.

The National Union of Journalists joins stop43.org.uk

Following the NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council vote by a substantial majority to back Stop43.org.uk, their decision has been ratified and we are pleased to have their substantial membership and powerful voice added to the campaign. A warm welcome to them.

No. 10 Petition against copyright reform in the Digital Economy Bill passes 5000 signatures

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Abandon plans to amend copyright protection for photographers which effectively amount to nationalisation of photography.”

The petition, started by Darren Hector, further states:

“We call on the Government to abandon plans, announced on 29 October 2009, to allow free and unhindered reproduction of photographs without payment or credit on non-commercial websites.

This is completely at odds with the Government's stance on file sharing of other forms of intellectual property (films and music) and raises the prospect of crippling thousands of small businesses while protecting large corporate interests.

The proposal uses phrases like "It must be seen to benefit all parties, not some at the expense of others" and yet the Government's proposal does exactly that. It takes the work of photographers who have invested time and money in creating work, and gives it to people who have no relationship with that work, for free.

Photographic businesses are already under severe strain and the proliferation of digital cameras gives the impression that creating professional quality imagery is easy. This will further devalue the work of professional photographers and destroy the photographic industry.”

SIGN IT NOW

The AOP urges its members to contact their MPs without delay

Today the Association of Photographers issued the following email bulletin to its entire membership:

“The Digital Economy Bill is coming to the end of it's process through the 2 Houses - due to an imminent election there will not be time to debate the Bill fully in the House of Commons. If you don't think it will affect you then take the time to click onto the following links and read about Clause 43 (formerly Clause 42)

http://hub.the-aop.org/

Due to a swell of protest from photographers and their representative bodies the Intellectual Property Office put up a page on it's website explaining what the clause means to photographers - however each point has been countered from a photographer’s point of view:

http://copyrightaction.com/forum/why-the-ipo-is-wrong

PLEASE write to your MP's now - all parties but particularly Lib Dems and Tories - once an election is called the window for debate is very, very small. Template letters don't work, you need to personalise your letter - click here to read pointers as to what to include:

http://hub.the-aop.org/News_archive/p2_articleid/175

You can find your MP and send your letter from here:

http://www.writetothem.com/


Gwen Thomas
Executive Director
Business & Legal Affairs”

The NUJ considers...

The NUJ's Freelance Industrial Council today voted by a substantial majority to back Stop43.org.uk. This decision however is subject to ratification either by the Union's National Executive Council, or the General Secretary.

The British Institute of Professional Photography joins stop43.org.uk

A warm welcome to BIPP.

The British Press Photographers Association joins stop43.org.uk

A warm welcome to BPPA.

We're Off!

stop43.org.uk gets off to a flying start and bursts its monthly bandwidth limit after being live for less than 8 hours