Fight Clause 43

In February I wrote about the threat to visual journalism in the UK.  Here’s a concise and detailed breakdown from the excellent that explains the situation perfectly (and I quote verbatim):

• destroys the concept that a property owner has control over his property
• In so doing it destroys any guarantee of exclusive use, and
• It breaks the contractual ties between models, their agencies, property rights holders, photographers and clients, because
• images will be used in ways that rights holders would have forbidden, had they known beforehand
• It says that images can be declared orphan after a “diligent search” for the owner without recognising the practical impossibility of such a search
• It proposes that images should be licensed at “the market rate” while ignoring the impossibility of determining such a rate for any specific image
• It breaches UK commitments under international copyright and trade laws
• It entirely fails to recognise that the owners of “orphan” works may not be UK-based, but based in places such as the USA which have a strongly litigious culture, and therefore
• It exposes licensees of works declared as orphans in the UK to litigation from their foreign owners
• It contains no mechanism to irrevocably establish copyright in a work via mandatory attribution; or to prevent deliberate orphaning, and no effective sanctions against those who so do
• It could have a strong chilling effect on the UK ad industry as multinationals shun UK agencies, photographers and shoots because we will no longer be able to guarantee exclusivity (our work can be orphaned and used by others beyond our control) and those multinationals seek to avoid their campaign assets becoming orphaned.

Here’s what to do