An outrageous proposal in the UK Digital Economy Bill plans to undermine photographic copyright in the United Kingdom, it was revealed recently by the pressure group, Stop43.org.uk. Clause 43 of the proposed bill outlines plans to allow the use of photographs without the copyright owner’s knowledge or consent if a fee is paid to a UK government agency in advance, via the introduction of an “Orphan Works” policy.
“Clause 43 says that if someone finds your photograph, wants to use it and decides that they can’t trace you, they can do whatever they like with it after paying an arbitrary fee to a UK Government-appointed “licensing body”. You’ll never know unless you happen to find it being used in this way, in which case you might be able to claim some money. This means that if someone finds your photograph and can trace you, they still don’t have to contact you for permission to use it. They can go to a UK Government-appointed “collecting society” and ask them instead. They’ll pay an arbitrary fee and be able to do whatever they like with the photograph.” [Read More]