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Old 07-06-2012, 06:38 AM   #1
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Proposed UK orphan works legislation

According to The Register, the UK government is proposing legislation on orphan works. They say:

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Photographers, illustrators and authors will be amongst those to lose their digital rights under radical new proposals published by the Government today. New legislation is proposed that would effectively introduce a compulsory purchase order, but without compensation, across an unlimited range of creative works, for commercial use.
Opinions? Is The Register overstating their case, or are they reporting this accurately?
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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It was representations made by groups representing photographers (who are, it seems, particularly affected by this) that resulting in the previous proposals being dropped. I would guess that the new proposals (and this is the first I've heard about them, I must admit) would reflect their concerns.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
It was representations made by groups representing photographers (who are, it seems, particularly affected by this) that resulting in the previous proposals being dropped. I would guess that the new proposals (and this is the first I've heard about them, I must admit) would reflect their concerns.
The article does say that the proposals were previously killed by photographers, but it seems to suggest that the latest proposals don't reflect their concerns. I don't really trust The Register (especially articles by Andrew Orlowski), so I'm not sure how much weight to give to their analysis. I tried reading the white paper, but I'm too tired and too ill right now to be able to cope with that sort of reading
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #4
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The opposition to orphaned works legislation typically revolves around claims that people are going to use it as an excuse not to pay copyright holders. I think it is a pretty flimsy claim. One of the benefits of orphaned works legislation would be movies. There are a lot of old movies rotting in vaults because they remain in copyright limbo. They can't be shown, and no one has an incentive to restore them. If they can be restored and digitized, they can be saved. If not, they will simply continue to disintegrate.
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Old 07-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #5
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El Reg probably is exaggerating things a bit, but it's probably not too far off.

Basically, if you use an orphan work, you will need to pay a fee to a government agency based on a payment that is "comparable" to some industry average.

You are obligated to undertake a "diligent" search for the copyright holder, but there is no standard for what qualifies as a "diligent" search.


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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
The opposition to orphaned works legislation typically revolves around claims that people are going to use it as an excuse not to pay copyright holders. I think it is a pretty flimsy claim.
Not to photographers.

They are routinely ripped off by ad agencies and others for commercial use, who know exactly what they're doing. This would basically license massive infringement of photographers' works.

It seems to me that the optimal solution may be to break up orphan works usage by media. E.g. set up this scheme for movies, books and computer games, while not extending it to photos, illustrations and music. A partial solution is better than having the orphan works problem crippled by its inability to accomodate a few mediums.
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