Last Days to Influence U.K. Digital Economy Bill

Posted on 4/2/2010 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

“Agitation works: MPs want re-electing. Deadline 6 April,” warns The Web site, named after clause 43 of the proposed U.K. Digital Economy Bill, was launched by nine U.K. photography groups to prevent what they see as orphan-works exploitation.

Stop43 represents more than 15,900 members of the photographic, imaging, and advertising industries. Organizing bodies include The Association of Photographers, British Institute of Professional Photography, The British Press Photographers’ Association, Copyright Action, Editorial Photographers U.K. and Ireland, Photographers’ Agents London, National Union of Journalists Photographers, Pro-Imaging, and The Society Representing Professional Imagemakers.

The Web site provides resources and advice on how to influence U.K. parliamentarians and get involved in the debate. It offers MP lists and contact details, guidance on how to find your representative by location, and a host of news and information related to the proposed legislation. Site organizers encourage non-U.K. photographers and their professional associations to contact British embassies, consulates and trade offices around the world.

Also available are numerous promotional tools, such as logos and educational ads, which stop43 encourages supporters to post on their own blogs and Web sites. One ad endeavors to determine the worth of an image; others illustrate potentially embarrassing situations and legal consequences of using orphan works in commercial materials.

“The main areas of concern [with the bill] are that the right of the creator of an artistic work to determine where and how that work should be used has been removed under what is now Clause 43 of the bill,” wrote founder of London consultancy Electric Lane and stop43 supporter Sarah Saunders in a letter to her MP. Saunders is among many vocal opponents of the proposed orphan-works provisions and collective licensing schemes.

Copyright © 2010 Julia Dudnik Stern. 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


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