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News from The Association of Photographers

March 15, 2011

The Association of Photographers response to the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth

The Association of Photographers believes that unless the rights of creators are secured and respected as a prerequisite, any growth and innovation will be suffocated.

In November 2010 David Cameron announced yet another review into the intellectual property framework in the UK and specifically how it does or does not support growth and innovation. This review is chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves and is due to report in April 2011. A public consultation process and Call for Evidence has just closed (Friday 4 March) and The Association of Photographers has submitted its evidence as well as being involved in many round table discussions and meetings with the Review Team and others.

It is an economic necessity that creators’ businesses are viable, sustainable and profitable.

The creative industries contribute about 8% to GDP – more than the banking sector.

Whilst there is not a great deal wrong with current IP legislation in the UK, particularly in relation to Copyright, The Association of Photographers believes that the existing legislation must now be strengthened to protect the rights of creators and to give simple, effective legal redress to those whose rights are infringed.

The Association of Photographers calls for:

•  Equal bargaining power between commissioners/users and suppliers to be facilitated by a change in Unfair Contract Terms legislation to now include IP

•  The UK Government, and the bodies it wholly or partly funds, to set an example by accepting licenses and ending the current widespread practice that takes copyright by assignment and moral rights waivers, from creators

•  Moral Rights legislation to be strengthened to remove (i) the formal assertion requirement for the Attribution Right; (ii) exclusions for the Attribution and Integrity Rights; and (iii) the contractual ability of a waiver to prevent future ‘orphan works’

•  The introduction of effective sanctions against those who purposefully and knowingly strip metadata (identifying data within the work) from photographs to remove traces to their ownership

•  Funding to be made available to aid research into stronger, universal software solutions to input, secure and maintain robust metadata for all types of digital image formats

•  Fewer exceptions to copyright legislation to ensure a better understanding of what is a legitimate use of copyright work

•  A punitive element be introduced into copyright legislation to deter infringements, particularly in the digital domain

• An effective and affordable legal remedy with easy access to be made available in the format of a small claims copyright court, where infringement has taken place

• Mandatory copyright education in schools and Further Education/Higher Education establishments

• A Government-led public-facing copyright and IP rights education campaign

Visit the AOP Website here