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The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act: a Statement from The Royal Photographic Society
- Published 1st May 2013
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act
A statement from The Royal Photographic Society
Through the British Copyright Council (BCC) The Royal Photographic Society has responded to government consultations around proposed changes to the legislation relating to photography and how it is used and exploited. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, which received Royal Assent last week, largely sets out the government’s original position and The Society is disappointed that many of the concerns of photographers have not been addressed in the Act.
The Society, along with other members of the photographic industry and BCC, has been invited to a meeting with Viscount Younger on 10 June and it will reiterate the need to protect the rights of photographers to exploit their work for their own benefit if they wish to do so. The Society hopes that the government will engage in constructive negotiations with the creative industries to address these concerns before statutory instruments are laid before parliament. It will also seek to establish whether the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) notices continue to be supported by government.
The Society notes that the Act does not remove copyright from works. It is also mindful of the potential benefit to the United Kingdom economy and institutions through the exploitation of orphan works. It wishes to ensure that all photographers - amateur or professional - are not encumbered by the need to devote significant time and resources to protect their work from exploitation by others when they could be creating new work.
The Society’s principal representative at the BCC, Andy Finney, commented:
“The sheer speed with which any photographer can create images means that we are particularly exposed to changes in copyright law. While the situation is unlikely to be as grave as some commentators believe I am not yet convinced that the government fully understands the implications for photographers of their current agenda. In addition, orphans should not be legislated without due attention being paid to moral rights and metadata, as they are interlinked.”
For further comment please contact: Dr Michael Pritchard, Director-General, email: email@example.com or tel: +44 (0)1225 325730 (direct line).
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform bill received Royal Assent on 25 April. It has not yet been enacted which will be done by the government through the use of statutory instruments. These must be laid before parliament and approved or rejected. They may not be amended.
The areas directly affecting photographers are:
Oprhan works. The Act allows the Secretary of State to grant licences to use orphan works to an individual or to a licensing body. Works may be defined as ‘orphan’ after a ‘diligent’ search has been made to locate the copyright owner.
Extended collective licensing. A licensing body can be established to grant licences to use orphan works from defined types of work. The licence is not exclusive and may not be given to the person granting licences. A collecting body may deduct an administration fee; it must specify how long sums will be held and state what will happen to sums after that period. A copyright holder may exclude the grant of licences by a licensing body.