More On New UK Copyright Laws

Posted on 10/17/2014 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (1)

Yesterday, I made an attempt to explain what is happening in the UK with regard to making it easier for consumer to use images that are truly “orphaned,” or if it is just difficult to find the name of and locate the creator. (See story)

Today, I had the following exchange of emails with Andrea Stern, Director of MOCA: Ministry of Copyright Cultural Creators’ Assets in the UK.
    Dear Jim,

    Thanks so much for sending the notice out re ECL and the survey. 

    I am a little curious about your understanding of option (a), as our belief is that you have the right to opt-out once the ECL license has been awarded to a CMO. 
    Best wishes

I responded with the following questions and her answers are in italics.

Hi Andrea:

I interpreted "prior to" to mean the law that went into effect October 1st. If I understand what you're saying while the law is in effect so far no CMO's have been authorized to license images based on the ECL law. Until that happens people can still opt out. Questions:

1 - If someone wants to opt-out of all future ECL arrangements how do they do it? What is the contact point and is there a form to be filled out?
    It’s a good question, but the CMO schemes are yet to be approved…  We will keep you abreast of developments as they are made clear.  As an IPO document states:
      ”ECL is a new departure for the UK, so the guidance will be a living document, and will undoubtedly change over time, as ECL schemes are conceived and delivered.” 
2 - I assume CMO's will be authorized one at a time over the coming months. Will there be a list somewhere that lets creators know which organizations are being considered? How much time from such an announcement will there be before the CMO's application is approved? Will all interested creators have to keep checking this list to see which CMO's are about to be authorized?
    As above – We have to wait for the CMOs to put forward their schemes.  They have to figure out how they propose to operate in their sector.
3 - It is my understanding that if someone opts out, the CMO can still license use of "non-member" images. The only difference is that the person who opts out will not be able to share any of the revenue the CMO receives. Is that correct?
    We’ll get back to you on that.  There’s a  great deal of discussion on all these points and I’ll let you know the latest information as it becomes available.  Sorry not to be more factual – we are all waiting on answers to these questions.  Please keep asking.  We want to keep our international colleagues involved and informed and will update you as information becomes available.


No one seems to have any idea what’s going to happen, or what will come out of this. Whatever it is, it seems highly unlikely that it will end up benefiting creators, but I’ll keep listening, hoping for the best and inform my readers of what I learn.

Copyright © 2014 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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