UK Copyright 'Highway' Code

04 April 2016

Region: Headquarters

The British Copyright Council (BCC), of which The Society is a member, has launched a single-page basic guide to copyright in the UK, known as the Copyright 'Highway' Code (CHC). The idea is that this will give anyone producing or using a creative work, such as a photograph, the same kind of guide that the motoring Highway Code does when you drive a car.

The CHC project has been developed by a copyright awareness and education group within the BCC. A first draft was written by Andy Finney from the RPS (who acted as editor) and Denise Swanson of the BIPP. Even though the code is simple and easy to understand, this still required discussion and learned legal input. Sometimes, as you can imagine, even individual words were argued over. The first edition has been agreed by representatives from all parts of the creative industries.

The code takes the form of a single side of A5, which can be downloaded from the BCC's web site. The Society plans to include a copy of the code in a future edition of the Journal (for UK members).

Ideally, this will only be the first step towards a more comprehensive guide with more pages covering such topics as moral rights and performers' rights.

Andy Finney says ...

"A better understanding of copyright is a key part of encouraging better observance of it. The basics are not difficult to understand and they apply to all of us, whether we take photographs or whether we make use of other people's images."