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Press Release


November 16, 2012 Read the letter here.

 

Organizations Representing Visual Artists Protest Proposed UK Copyright Law Changes

Philadelphia, PA… The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), National Press Photographers Association (NPPA), Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), American Photographic Artists (APA) and Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) have joined together to submit a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, House of Commons London about proposed changes to UK copyright law. Representing the interests of creators and copyright owners of visual works in the United States, the letter expresses deep concern with the provisions in Clause 68 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill affecting copyright owners in visual works.

 

If enacted, the Bill would permit foreign works of unknown origin (known as "orphan works") to be used without permission or credit and compensation to rights holders. According to the letter submitted, "Legalizing the usage of foreign works without the knowledge and permission of the copyright owners will jeopardize the exclusive rights of those owners. The prospect of unknown, ongoing unlicensed usage of foreign works in the UK will prevent any rights holder in any country from licensing exclusive rights to any party. In many instances, unlicensed usage of foreign work in the UK will drastically devalue the works throughout their copyright life."

 

If the use of foreign works in the UK is directly or indirectly permitted by this Bill, a firestorm of international litigation is predicted. The executives of the six organizations warn that any individuals or businesses making use of foreign works under this Bill can expect to be sued promptly by the copyright holders. The executives state, "Our members are likely to aggressively pursue legal remedies for any copyright infringements resulting from this Bill."

 

ASMP, PPA, NPPA, PACA, APA and GAG believe that while a solution to the orphan works challenge must be found, this Bill permitting legalized infringement of foreign works and injecting foreign works into a UK Extended Collective Licensing scheme creates more problems than it solves. The organizations call on the UK Government to work with stakeholders to redraft the Bill in order to protect and maintain the exclusive rights of foreign copyright holders.

 

Read the letter here.

 

For information, contact:

ASMP:   Eugene Mopsik, mopsik@asmp.org, 215 451 2767 x201

PPA:   Angela Wijesinghe, awijesinghe@ppa.com, 404 522 8600 x226

NPPA:   Mickey H. Osterreicher, Esq., lawyer@nppa.org, 716 983 7800

PACA:   Cathy Aron, execdirector@pacaoffice.org, 714 815 8427

APA:   Stephen Best, ceo@apanational.com, 818 613 4901

GAG:   Tricia McKiernan, Admin@gag.org, 212 791 3400