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back to article UK's brazen copyright land grab sneaked into Enterprise Bill

A huge expansion of bureaucratic power over UK copyright has been smuggled quietly into draft legislation – giving civil servants the ability to sweep away copyright protection by statutory instrument rather than primary legislation. The new amendments also allow new agencies to be established to permit the licensing of …

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And in what public forum

was the discussion whereby it was established that such idiocy represents the will of the people?

My work. My copyright. You may use it if and only if I give you express permission. Anything else and I'll see you in court...

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Re: And in what public forum

"Anything else and I'll see you in court..."

Sadly this is a question of you and who's army? The larger corporations have multi-million pound legal budgets, and they will stymey your chances of justice by simpling by delaying. You'll run out of cash long before they do, and I know of cases where big corporations have offered juicy contracts to law firms to persuade them to drop even non-win no fee work.

Not to mention that the UK government are specifically seeking to remove your rights, because their mates don't want you to have those rights. It would be really nice to see the British government act on behalf of the resident British population for once and stop this nonsense, but that would be a first, wouldn't it?

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Joke

Re: And in what public forum

How quaint, you think the government somehow serves you.

It's been a long time since any politician in power acted in the interests of anything other than their own wallet.

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Re: And in what public forum

You believe that Parliament exists to serve the will of the people? Where did you get such a quaint notion from?

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Re: And in what public forum

The will of the people? Pah! What do the proles know? Scumbags.

No. This is about the will of Google, who have a lot more lobbying mon£y than you do, my friend.

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Re: And in what public forum

...until some twat politician makes amendments so that the thieves can say "looked for you, didn't find you" and the judge says "all right then, that's good enough".

Makes a mockery of the entire concept of copyright.

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Joke

Re: And in what public forum

I wanted to show the kids some sort of sci-fi/fantasy epic on the goggle box tonight, so I found this lovely artistic work called "Avengers" on something called a pirate bay. I performed a diligent search and found that this is an orphaned work (as far as I can tell) - there were no attributions where I found the content, at any rate.

Anyways, since this abandoned piece of work is going missed by the general populace, I've run off a couple of thousand on DVD, selling them for £2 a pop in the car park of my local. I'm collecting 20p per DVD to give to the copyright agency, so its all good right?

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Re: And in what public forum

The larger corporations have multi-million pound legal budgets, and they will stymey your chances of justice by simpling by delaying.

That's nothing. Wait till they use your photo after copying it from some obscure image blog you use. 6 months later you'll upload it to another site or try to use it in some kind of creative work and you'll be hit with a take-down notice and/or sued for copyright infringement. Just like happens to Indy musicians now without the aid of legislation.

That's what really scares me!

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Re: And in what public forum

was the discussion whereby it was established that such idiocy represents the will of the people?"

That's easy to answer Neil.

It was in a very public consultation (http://www.ipo.gov.uk/consult-2011-copyright) that ran from December to March of this year. I took part in it, didn't you?

http://www.ktetch.co.uk/2012/03/consultation-response-to-uk-ipo.html is my response.

Even better, it was the FIRST consultation by the UK IPO that had a REQUIREMENT that claims be backed by evidence, and that evidence include facts, figures and methodologies, so that the quality of said evidence could be judged.

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Anonymous Coward

Why oh why are we governed by idiots, with even more idiots behind the scene?

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"...idiots..."

I think you'll find the word should be spelt "c-r-o-o-k-s".

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Unhappy

They're certainly not idiots, they know fine well what they're doing...

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Big Brother

Isn't it more serious than just photos?

If the rights to copyright do not extend to the content of a web site as a whole, then what would inhibit corrupt ISPs and spyware merchants like Phorm from processing the content of third party communications..?

And even claiming they were 'unable' to do a diligent search (despite knowing the source of the communication, and knowing they were duplicating and exploiting copyright protected material without licence).

Unlike RIPA, Copyright was always the insurmountable hurdle for network spyware like Phorm... because it wasn't in the hands of malleable policemen and corrupt politicians.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Isn't it more serious than just photos?

Yes.

If you can't protect something reasonably, there's little point selling it in the UK.

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Re: Isn't it more serious than just photos?

... which is at least one of the reasons why I would dearly like to leave this country.

If my creative work can be stolen from me with complete impunity, what's the point of participating in the UK economy?

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Unhappy

I can see one area of innovation arising from this - namely, the rise of systems for steganographically encoding owner/authorship information into images or recordings. Which will then be countered by systems designed specifically to remove such data.

Meanwhile, individual rights get stomped on some more by the same bastards getting rich from selling X-Factor-type tat to numpties. Same as ever, then.

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Private Websites?

The way I see this, I imagine that it'll result in the creation of many new private website where the content owner will be able to set the conditions under which content can be used and indexed.

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RIP Statute of Anne: 1710 - 2012?

I see that the London Company of Stationers is alive and well and still trying to roll back 302 years of copyRIGHT. Seems to be working too.

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I'm going to upload an episode of "Top Gear" - I have no idea who owns the copyright* but I tried to find out so I will assume its an orphaned work.

*obviously bullshit

So what's the difference between this and the BBC nicking my photos off flickr and sticking them all over their news website using the same excuse?

Maybe a good precautionary measure would be to watermark all photos with the text "Daily Mail readers are all Paedophiles and the BBC kill kittens" and at least then, if they do nick the pics, they look stupid.

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Unhappy

"Daily Mail readers are all Paedophiles and the BBC kill kittens"

Libel, slander. Something like that.

It is quite a clever piece of legislation. The little guy gets screwed either way...

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Joke

Re: "Daily Mail readers are all Paedophiles and the BBC kill kittens"

Perhaps instead of watermarks we could hide trojans in our images? Only display thumbnails on your website, these will then link to the infected full size image. Place a large disclaimer on every page along the lines of "by downloading these images you consent to the installation of fibbs_really_really_necessary_image_viewer.exe on your system". Email actual clients clean copies of the image whilst sitting back and waiting for your inevitable backdoor into News Corp.

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Big Brother

Re: "Daily Mail readers are all Paedophiles and the BBC kill kittens"

No, those statements aren't libellous or slanderous. (They're sufficiently vague that no one person could credibly stand up in court and say "This is aimed at me!", which is one of the hurdles you have to clear to bring a libel action.) If you want to deface your images with slogans like that, no-one will stop you.

On the other hand, there's a saying about cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

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Joke

cutting off one's nose to spite one's face.

If you put the watermark text out of the way of any person's facial features in the photos then it wouldn't cut of anyone's nose!! lol

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That's why this is unlikely to go through. The UK would become a pariah as pirates strip copyright notices off and it then becomes legal to upload and host in the UK as an orphaned work.

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Anonymous Coward

This is such a crock of shit!

I take photos and sell them and as I understand it if one of my shots gets used the company using it has no obligation to find me and pay me my due, unlike current law where they have to make a reasonable effort to pay me for my creative work.

Teams of lawyers at Disney have all the resources to get what's owed them, solo photographers will have to waste time making sure they don't get get ripped off by scumbags using their shots and not giving two shits about paying them!

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Boffin

market failure

I take photos and sell them and as I understand it if one of my shots gets used the company using it has no obligation to find me and pay me my due, unlike current law where they have to make a reasonable effort to pay me for my creative work.

So just how many haystacks do you expect someone who accepts a bogus statement made by a third party and taken in good faith that your needle is within the public domain, to have to search through and at what expense to them ?

I'm not talking about a large corporate customer here either. Possibly a one-man band local historian who wants to publish a book on local history which might contain your photo, who genuinely wants to find you and tries hard but can't, and who probably won't make much of a profit if any from a few hundred copies sold, and where your photo constitutes less than 0.2 % of the proposed publication's value, but really doesn't have money to spend in court cases. Under current law this book can't be profitably published unless the small litigation risk can be acceptably insured against.

It's reasonable to premise the concept of a commercial market in copyright work when zillions of examples exist on the basis of owners being findable and value being limited otherwise. If governments want to facilitate markets, in preference to imagining that these theoretical but for the most part unenforceable rights should never be tampered with, then some kind of searchable copyright registry is needed to fix this problem.

The problem is, that when we look through the data registration and processing requirements for such a registry, including that efforts carried out by an indentified party to find your work within it should be stored as evidence within a future case which you might want to bring against them, this makes it increasingly improbable that this job can be done by the private sector representing the interests of the sellers alone, as opposed to a public sector database similar to the land registry which is intended to balance the interests of purchasers and sellers.

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Re: market failure

If it is not worth the local historians time tracking down the creator of an image then the image must have little perceived worth to the historian and is therefore inconsequential to the book. If, on the other hand, the image is vital to the book then the resources spent locating the creator will still be less than the perceived value of the image and it is therefore a worthwhile endeavour. It's the sort of value based judgement that gets made all the time in a commercial situation.

This doesn't mean though that copyright is holding back human knowledge (if you could even say that about not being able to publish one photo). If the historian is writing purely for educational, non-commercial purposes and the image, as you say, only makes up 0.2% of the book, then the historian is entitled to use it under fair dealing (fair use in the US).

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Well now

There have been so many times I have seen people go along with the Creative Commons stuff until they find some nasty evil company wants to use the picture. I imagine the same gang will be up in arms when they see how this really pans out (though presumably in reality this ends up at the ECJ, anyway).

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Re: Well now

You DO know that with Creative Commons, there is a difference between CC-BY and CC-BY-NC ? Hint, it's the "NC" part.

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Re: Well now

Yes I do, and I think that by and large the people who posted things with CC-BY and then were shocked and horrified that, gasp, horror, The Man (TM) was using their pictures under the terms of the licence, then took the trouble to find out.

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Re: Well now

CC-BY-NC is the (rather sensible, I thought) Australian solution.

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-egov-ig/2012Jul/0006.html

It seems to me the sensible part is thinking a move ahead. There is no Judge either in the UK, Australia nor most jurisdictions who will not accept de facto sovereignty of the sovereign. Copyright Holders forget that they are protected by Sovereigns not the Sovereigns themselves. When it comes time for the Royal Navy to drag an Aircraft Carrier into Court to "prove" they have them, then the Courts have lost all legitimacy.

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Terminator

Jayzis

...there's an awful lot of piffle spoken on these boards.

So far, it's sounding a lot like the league of blacksmiths and farriers trying to outlaw the internal combustion engine.

Welcome to tomorrow lads.

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Anonymous Coward

Google will be the next New Corp type scandal, maybe the politicians should change all their party to colours to shades of brown.

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Anonymous Coward

Almost time to uncork those champagne bottles

"Tory ministers met Google chiefs 23 times - Conservative ministers have held meetings with executives from Google once a month on average since the General Election, it has been disclosed."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9276468/Tory-ministers-met-Google-chiefs-23-times.html

The plan is coming to fruition.

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Trollface

What's this?

A discussion on copyright and nobody has yet suggested that everybody in the creative industries should work for free because they're not real jobs anyway? Come on... at least tell me we should go back to the blissful utopia that existed before copyright. I do so want to go beg the local nobleman for his patronage.

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Two Sides

There will be no end to Intellectual Property disputes until the concept of Intellectual Currency arises.

The common wisdom of self-interest leads to cognitive dissonance.

1. Copyrighted documents, pictures, etc. have no existential value - they are all entropy and no enthalpy, with immutable value out of time.

2. Copyrighted documents, pictures, etc. are all enthalpy, no entropy, with immutable duplication rights out of time.

The Web lacks (queue the Fanboi Flame) any democratic principle to resolve this issue "fairly". Certainly, information handling has methods, but, others have put it better ...

===================

John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich: "Egad sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox." John Wilkes: "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

===================

"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." Ralph Waldo Emerson

===================

My point, simply: Anything you or Google "discover" on the Web is Intellectual Currency, not Intellectual Property. It is the difference between property rights and fishing rights.

Sorry, Andrew, I know how you Brits wish we Americans would just go away. But you've had the Jubilee, and we're having Woodie Guthrie's 100th Birthday Party this Saturday (Bastille Day, for irony fans)

============================

As I went walking I saw a sign there

And on the sign it said "No Trespassing."

But on the other side it didn't say nothing,

That side was made for you and me.

http://www.woodyguthrie.org/Lyrics/This_Land.htm

============================

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Stop

Politicians are not born; they are excreted.

- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106BC - 43BC

Still true today!

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Anonymous Coward

Time for the Tories to pay back for all those free trips paid for by...

... Google.

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And about bl***dy time ...

Anyone who has tried to get copyright clearance for any work knows that the present nineteenth century system is not working. Creatives spend more time on trying to get copyright clearance for the works than actually creating the new works. Frequently the cost of copyright clearance destroys the commercial viability of making the new work. The Shakespearian solution "Kill all the lawyers" won't work so this is a reasonable compromise.

AK

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Re: And about bl***dy time ...

Will the creative darlings be quite so happy when it is their works that are declared "orphan"?

Perhaps the feckless, lazy b*****ds who want to use other people's output without a "by your leave" should instead accept that (just as they would want protection of their rights) the producers of original images are entitled to protection. If that's expensive or impossible to obtain, then just move along, and produce something genuinely original that isn't so derivative as to potentially infringe other people's rights.

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Re: And about bl***dy time ...

"Creatives spend more time on trying to get copyright clearance for the works than actually creating the new works. Frequently the cost of copyright clearance destroys the commercial viability of making the new work"

let me fix that for you:

Creatives spend more time on trying to get copyright clearance for the works than actually creating the DERIVATIVE works. Frequently the cost of copyright clearance destroys the commercial viability of making the DERIVATIVE work.

Genuinely NEW works created by creatives do NOT require any form of copyright clearance but if you want to use my work in yours you DO need to ask and if your use is commercial then there will be a fee.

Not in any way difficult or overly time consuming, really, is it ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And about bl***dy time ...

So when they've created this new derivative work we assume they'll also be happy to give it away for free to anyone that wants to make use of it then?

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Happy

Re: And about bl***dy time ...

Think that's called copyleft

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And about bl***dy time ...

If you were more creative, and less parasitic, you wouldn't need copyright clearance.

There, fixed it for you.

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Re: And about bl***dy time ...

"So when they've created this new derivative work we assume they'll also be happy to give it away for free to anyone that wants to make use of it then?"

If the new laws manage to make it onto the statute books it won't matter.

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Re: And about bl***dy time ...@El Presidente

"If the new laws manage to make it onto the statute books it won't matter"

It will, it will. Because with all the masses of time freed up, the "creatives" might be able to spend more time dressing properly, and shaving. So we won't have the f*******s turning up for business meetings in jeans, suit jacket, wing collar shirt, goatee beard, trillby, and spectacles last seen on Groucho Marx. As recently seen pitching to my outfit's marketing director.

So there you have a silver lining to the big grey cloud that is the loss of copyright for us little people.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: And about bl***dy time ...

If the patient has flu, it doesn't necessarily follow that he must be hit over the head with a shovel until he is better.

I believe that better ways of to fixing the orphan works "problem" were covered in the article. They have been covered here before.

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Happy

Re: And about bl***dy time ...@El Presidente

Sounds like a good look to me, and I'm not remotely creative!

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