I hate gov consultations...
They are written like those pseudo religious personality questionnaires that are biased to force a particular outcome.
Anyhoo I read it.
It does concern me that content I (might) create could be licensed by somebody else through a collecting society or deemed an orphan work if I am not contactable. Then again, I'm not that likely to monetise my potential 'creative works', so the possibility of getting royalties for something that I chuck up on a website that later makes its way into a commercial venture isn't totally unappealing.
The opt out sounds like a bad idea, except for the above possibility of getting paid, but I suspect this will only really benefit the collecting societies.
These seem to be the worrisome sections for individuals who have created some 'creative work', unless of course you are happy for a largely unaccountable monopoly to collect money for you on your behalf.... (Note: ECL - Extended Collective Licensing).
"Collecting societies authorised to operate an ECL scheme would be given additional powers to act on behalf of non-member rights holders who have not given them explicit consent to act. Understandably, there are concerns from some quarters about these additional powers. The Government believes these can be counterbalanced with some checks: the ECL authorisation would only be given if the collecting society committed itself to adhere to certain conditions set by Government. These would include compliance with minimum standards of fairness and transparency set by Government and enshrined in codes of conduct. Collecting societies operating ECL schemes would be required to treat members and non-member rights holders equally, unless there are reasonable grounds for differences in treatment."
"There are also fears that it will be onerous to opt out from an ECL arrangement or that a collecting society might deliberately ignore an opt out. The proposal is that the opt out mechanism should be simple and at zero or negligible cost to the rights holder. An email or a telephone call to a free phone or local number are examples of simple and cheap opt out mechanisms. The Government would welcome your views on how a collecting society should show that it has taken account of opt outs."
The relevant consultation questions:
What are the best ways of ensuring that non-member rights holders are made aware of the introduction of an ECL scheme and that as many as possible have the opportunity to opt out, should they wish to?
What type of collecting society should be required to advertise in national media? For example, should it need to be a certain size, have a certain number of members, or collect a certain amount of money?
What would you suggest are the least onerous ways for a rights holder to opt out of a proposed extended licensing scheme?
Should a collecting society be required to show that it has taken account of all opt out notifications? If so, how should it do so? Please provide reasons for your answers.
Are there any groups of rights-holders who are at a higher risk of not receiving information about the introduction of an ECL scheme, or for whom the opt-out process may be more difficult? What steps could be taken to alleviate these risks?