Ploughing the field of copyright
THE GRIND of defending the authors' rights of journalists - and everyone else, from opera divas to amateur selfie-snappers - continues.
On 28 November the government issued for comment proposed legislation to enable "extended collective licensing". It sets out what collecting societies would have to do to seek Minsterial permission to grant a licence enabling, for example, the BBC to make all its archives available without asking individual authors and performers. That would include getting the consent of "not less than 75 per cent of those members whose rights will be affected".
The deadline for responses is 28 January. The NUJ has participated in the working group that has thoroughly picked over the proposals and is now reading the result against six small-print pages of commitments given by the Minister in the House of Lords earlier in the year. Please revisit this story for notes of key points by early January.
We expect proposals on licensing "orphan works" - those whose creators cannot be identified or located - imminently. We have been told that final proposals on the critical issue of extending "exceptions" to copyright will appear in the Spring.