Sunday 8 June 2014

Friends, photographers and illustrators: here's a survey that may affect your UK earnings

Apologies for the cross-post to readers of the 1709 Blog who may already have seen this, but we Artisans and Artificers have received notice of what has been described as an "independent and voluntary survey on extended collective licensing". Although it addresses what is billed as a UK development, the survey invites comments from creators of various hues from outside the UK too, since it may well have a substantial impact on their cash flow and/or rights management activities. According to the accompanying explanation:
"By October this year copyright legislation in the UK will change and authorised legal entities will be able to extend an existing collective licence so that they can license on behalf of all rights holders in the sector, except those who opt out (even if they are not members of a collecting society). This will affect any author who has made their work available online or published their work in print in the UK.

We are a group of visual creators and strategists who want to get answers on the practicalities of how an Extended Collective Licensing scheme might work for authors in particular, what it is that authors and rights owners might be opting out of and how. We want to hear, ideally on mass, from companies and individuals who will most be affected by the legislation; this includes photographers, illustrators, photo agents and representatives, publishers and broadcasters. We are especially interested in hearing for overseas artists on how UK law might affect them.

We are doing this work voluntarily and will share the information gathered from the survey with relevant parties such as rights holders (if you leave us a way to be in touch), collecting societies and associations across the globe".
Why complete the survey? The organisers of the survey explain:
"We want to give authors on mass the opportunity to have their say on ECL, what you would expect of an opt-out procedure and how you think it may affect your business and that of your photographers and illustrators in the future. We want to enable creators and government to make sound judgment based on research data". 
There are only about three months to act so, the organisers, ask, if you can think of others that might want to take part, please pass on this link: The survey is short, easy to complete and anonymous -- though respondents can leave contact details if they choose.  The deadline for responses is 17 June at 12 pm. If you are likely to be affected by this potentially impact-making but poorly-publicised bit of copyright licensing reform, you can't lose out by expressing your opinions.

The UK's Government response to the technical consultation on draft secondary legislation for extended collective licensing (ECL) schemes (48 pages) can be accessed here.

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